So ‘Hi Guys’, I’m a bit late writing my blog post, and it isn’t exactly about psychology today. There is something that needs to be said.
This is a letter to all those people who don’t call themselves feminists.
I want to know why?
You believe in men and women having equal rights?
You think that women shouldn’t have to say they will ‘obey’ their husband in their wedding vows?
You believe that men should be able to be sensitive and women can be strong and no one should judge them for it?
You think you should be able to wear what you like, and date who you like?
You think that traditional stereotypes aren’t fair?
You believe men deserve the same maternity leave as women?
You think men and women should get equal pay for the same job?
You think it’s wrong that in over 20 nations, women are not given access to education?
You think that men and women are equal?
IF YOU SAID YES TO THESE THINGS THEN YOU ARE A FEMINIST!
There is no use denying it. Accept it. Admit it. And be proud of it! And by admitting that you are a feminist, whether you are a man or a woman, this does not mean you hate men or need to grow your armpit hair.
It doesn’t mean you can’t wear heels, wear makeup, or wear anything so long as you are doing it for you. If you go out wearing heels because you think you look hot! Then you go! You are a feminist.
I get it, there is a lot of negative connotations that go along with the word feminist. Including people who believe feminists are man haters, lesbians or that feminists want women to take over the world.
More than two thirds of Britons support gender equality, and yet only 7% call themselves feminists. Women are more likely to identify as a feminist (9%) compared to men (4%). Still only 19% of young women (aged 18-24) called themselves feminists.
I’ll let you in to a little secret. If you believe in gender equality, then you’re a FREAKING FEMINIST. I don’t want to come across as a ranting feminist. But seriously, get over the word.
Come on! If you are someone who wants the option to do whatever they want to do for and not be held down my stereotypes (including be a housewife, be a business owner, be a CEO or be a surgeon etc), then you’re a feminist. Being a feminist doesn’t mean you can’t stay at home and look after your kids. It just means that you want equal opportunities and equal choice whether you are man, woman, trans or anything else.
We are a nation of ‘hidden feminists’.
I can count at least five times in the last year where I have heard the phrase ‘I don’t want to call myself a feminist…’
Women are scared to call themselves feminists for fear of being stereotyped.
This may not seem like an issue that is important to you. But it should be. We hear about atrocities against women in the third world, but they are a lot closer to home than you think. An honour killing is the homicide of a family member that has brought shame to the family. Honour killings do not only occur in foreign countries, but right here in the United Kingdom also. Shafilia Ahmed was killed on the 11th of September 2003 in the UK, after refusing her parents call for an arranged marriage. She was the victim of severe violence, caused by extreme sexist and cultural views.
This is an extreme case of sexism. Which you may not think relates to your life. But people you know (even yourself) experience sexism and sexist views every day. Just read everydaysexism.com which shows how many people experience sexism everyday including sexual assault, cyberbullying and individuals experiencing sexism in the workplace, school and university.
Let me give you an example. A little one. The other day, I was walking home and I heard a car honk behind me. I assumed that someone was annoyed at the lights or a driver in front of them, but as the traffic moved off, I had the car drive past me, honk and the man inside make a rude and sexual gesture at me. I was wearing a dress, that came to the knee, without tights. It was a hot day.
This is a small incident in the scheme of things.
But small incidents lead to bigger ones.
I say stand up for feminism. Stand up and say you are a feminist. For Malala Yousafzai. For men who won’t ask for help for mental health issues, for fear of being called ‘weak’. For girls who do not have access to education. For women experiencing unequal pay. For your daughter who shouldn’t be sexualised at school. For your son who should be able to cry and not be called a ‘pussy’. For Shafilia Ahmed. For equal rights.
If you believe in equal rights. You are a feminist. Own it.
Love Em x
I would love to hear your thoughts on feminism and sexism.
Facts on gender inequality:
Who calls themselves a feminist?
Education for women