It should come as no surprise that feminism is one of my favourite topics to talk about. I even decided to write a dissertation about it. I wanted to outline some of the basics. Feminism is arguably becoming more “mainstream”. The good thing about that is that more people are talking about gender equality and calling out sexism and all of that fab stuff. However, there are still a lot of misconceptions surrounding what feminists want and what it really means.
So let’s start a little discussion about what feminism is about…
To me, feminism is about representation and opportunities. It means that the world needs to be more inclusive and needs to listen to the voices of those who are oppressed. It is knowing that sexism still exists as it always has but in new ways. Terms like “Girl Boss” are being printed on t-shirts at the same time as a photo with two female politicians making front page news not because of politics but because of”Legs-it”. Everyday sexism and lazy stereotypes fuel my passion for fighting for equality.
DEFINITION: Feminism is aiming to achieve equality for all genders.
(tw: rape culture)
Feminist – a supporter of equal rights.
Patriarchy – we live in a society where masculinity is systematically viewed as superior to femininity, which often leads to the oppression of women.
Privilege – unearned benefits that members of ‘dominant groups’ get based on social identity factors. For example, straight people experience the benefits of living in a heteronormative society (whereby you are assumed to be straight unless told otherwise).
Political Correctness – avoidance of saying or doing something that could exclude or marginalise people who are socially disadvantaged or discriminated against. More thoughts on political correctness here.
Intersectionality – recognising that individuals are made up of lots of identity factors and each of those will contribute towards how they perceive and experience the world. Read more about this here.
Equality – being equal, especially in status, rights, or opportunities. Sometimes this requires more support to those who are systematically oppressed or discriminated against.
Sexism – stereotyping, discrimination or prejudice, typically against women, on the basis of sex; this can be against men too.
Genders – there are more than two genders; gender is a social construct.
Consent – rape culture is a huge topic in feminism. This video explains consent using tea very well…
Books & Resources
I wrote a blog a little while ago about some of my favourite books which you can read here.
Other stuff you should check out:
- ABC’s of LGBTs (book)
- Penguin Classics’ “The Suffragettes” (book)
- Vagina (book)
- The Pool (online)
- Catalyst (online)
- The Everyday Sexism Project (online)
Want to know more? Luckily for you, there is so much out there about feminism. I have barely scratched the surface in this post. Obviously, you have to take everything you read with a pinch of salt. It is all open to your own interpretations.
I hope I have at least opened up some thoughts and ideas for you… I’d love to hear what your interpretation of feminism is in the comments!