Thursday, 7 August 2014

Women + Feminism

Just a few words on:

"Women Against Feminism"

The title itself feels like a oxymoron. A movement devised especially to represent women is now being rejected by women.

The irony is women are not a minority, so why have we been treated as one?

In Britain where there are laws in place to ensure equal treatment of men and women it can be difficult to scratch beneath the surface and notice the existing inequalities that women still face. The @EverydaySexism campaign was a wonderful way of bringing to light some of the language that make women feel uncomfortable and discriminated against because of their sex. However, the backlash of this campaign was a sense of moaning and over sensitivity from those who could not relate to the comments.

Often I am confronted with people who think feminism is an over exaggeration, that inequality between men and women doesn't exist. I wonder if these same people think that racism is now irrelevant? Or that homophobia is past? People who fail to see beyond their own experiences and who do not recognise the discrimination and prejudice that exists within institutions.

As I mentioned before, just because things are seemingly resolved on the surface, does not mean that the core of the discrimination has filtered out of society and one's minds and mentality toward others. How many news articles, statistics, research findings and personal voices does it take to illustrate that women are still not treated equally to men in this society, by Britain's institutions? All this is regardless of the troubles women face worldwide in countries that don't even implicate laws to protect women from basic injustices such as rape.

Alright so maybe feminism does need a rebrand in order to move on from the negative connotations build through first wave feminism in the 60s. However, as writer Laurie Penny rightly explained in a discussion at Bethnal Green Working Mens club, why should feminism rebrand? Should people not just open their minds and allow for change? (these were not her exact words it was a while ago…)

As with all political movements there will always be opposition, backlash and harsh criticism. I just can't think of anything more detrimental to women's rights than women themselves expressing its irrelevance.

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