|Image Credit: https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=gender+equality&biw=13|
Feminism is a dirty word.
To admit to being a feminist gets you greeted with looks of surprise, despite my being a female.
Nevertheless, I am a feminist. Or an equalist, if that word suits you better.
I am not a man-hater. I believe in the equality of the sexes. And to me, this is uncomplicated. I believe that men and women should be treated equally in all aspects of life. The Women's March that took place all around the world was a massive source of inspiration to me - women and men are coming together in order to make their voices heard. But it's 2017, and the fact that we are still having to do this is unbelievable. It is not too much to ask that everyone is afforded equal rights, all around the world. Many would argue that women in the UK and other first world countries are much further ahead, and therefore have nothing to complain about. This is true in some sense - I am extremely privileged to live in a country where the level of inequality is much lower than in other countries around the world. But this does not mean that our work is done. Just because women in this country are in a better place than most, does not mean that it's 'fine'. Both men AND women suffer the effects of gender inequality.
As a student of English Literature, I've done a lot of studying on feminism. And a similar argument comes up again and again: 'Well, women can vote and they can work, what else do they want?'
What else do we want?
We want gender equality all over the world. To be able to vote and work in some countries does not mean that we have achieved equality. The sheer fact that voting and working is still seen as a privilege, and not a right for women proves that our work is not done.
Abortion is still illegal in many countries. Inequality.
Men are unable to talk about mental health issues without being ridiculed. Inequality.
Girls in African countries are not being given an education. Inequality.
If you still hate the word feminism, fine. If you can't claim to be a feminist for the people in this country, then at least support feminism for the people in other countries, all around the world. This is not a singular issue. This effects everyone. Not just women, but men also. Emma Watson sums it up best in her speech for the UN in 2014: 'How can we affect change in the world when only half of it is invited, or feel welcome, to participate?'
'Both men and women should feel free to be sensitive. Both men and women should feel free to be strong.'
Feminism = gender equality. Everyone should be able to be exactly who they are, unapologeticlly.
Click here for Emma Watson's UN speech.
Check out my friend's blog post on the same subject!