What does feminism mean to me… 

Remember that time you were standing your ground in your battle against racism and you said ‘there are good and bad in all people’ or ‘just because one person of a certain race or religion did something terrible it doesn’t make them all the same?’ 

It’s a great philosophy to have and one that I use myself. What I don’t understand is why this doesn’t apply to feminists as well. 

People choose to be feminists because they want to stand up for something they believe in. Namely equality. This comes across in different ways dependant on the person. Some women like Tess Holliday choose to celebrate feminism using body positivity and the right to choose to be whatever size you want to be without conforming to the standards of beauty the Western World expects of us. Other feminists like Malala Yousafzai fight for the rights of women in 3rd world countries to have the right to education and a voice. Then there’s Kim Kardashian but I’m not getting in to that… 

My point being that I’m getting a little tired of everybody using social media as a platform to try and destroy the feminist movement. I’m sick of going on Facebook and seeing these new videos and vlogs by men using feminism and misconstrued quotes from feminists to slander and drive women back under the rock we’ve spent hundreds of years crawling out from under. 

Not everyone is going to agree with your brand of feminism. Not every feminist wants to grow their armpit hair, put on ten stone, win a Nobel peace prize or post a naked selfie on Twitter but they should still have the choice to do that if they wish. Feminism is about equality. It’s not about man hating or burning bras or not respecting the fact that men have issues too. In fact it’s just the opposite. 

Feminists want to get rid of the idea that men have to conform to a certain masculine expectation. They want to respect that men don’t have to go to the gym everyday or have their beards shaved in a certain way to be attractive or live to unrealistic body standard set by the media and celebrities. If your a guy I bet your nodding your head and saying hell yeah right now because why should you be expected to do that? But then maybe you’re also the sort of guy who thinks that women should wear makeup and bras and shave their body hair in order to be attractive. 

We might not all agree on the semantics of person specific branches of feminism but that is exactly what they are: person specific. Not every feminist believes in the exact same particulars but overall we agree that certain things need to be made more equal. That if men can choose to either shave or keep their body hair and still be attractive then women should as well. You can’t complain that your other half takes 3 hours to get ready when society dictates that she has too in order to be feminine. 

So this is what feminism means to me: 

  • Where I hold the same qualification or same role as a male colleague I would expect to be paid the same amount of money. That means a base salary not inclusive of overtime or annual leave. – I am lucky in my job that this is the case but I know at least one male who is paid £3,000 a year more than his female colleague for working the same role.  So yes in some cases the pay gap does exist. 
  • I want to be able to feel comfortable wearing what I want including makeup. – I still feel despite all my views against it that I cannot have the confidence to go to work without putting makeup on. 
  • I want to be able to look after my own body without people disdainfully telling me that I have lost or put on weight. 
  • I want to educate people on how feminism stands up for women in the 3rd world who are not as lucky as us. Women who still can’t vote, can’t show their skin, are forced into arranged marriages often with violent men many years older than them, women who are not allowed an education or who are mutilated, murdered and raped. They need feminism even more than you and I. 
  • I want to promote gender equality and the idea that if genders were equal there would be no necessity for this pathetic and pointless competition that is battling out on social media. I want to promote body confidence whether you are male or female or a person with gender dysphoria. 

I’d love to hear people’s views on what feminism means to them so please get involved and let’s share the love and the fight for a better and most importantly equal future! 

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