I recently saw a video by the Huffington Post about white feminism and it raised a lot of important issues that need to be considered. I saw the video on Facebook and unfortunately looked through the comments and so many people were posting comments like “We should work towards equality instead of feminism” or “Feminism is the problem”. The world feminism for many now is seen as a negative and it’s core values are so frequently misunderstood or dismissed.
I think one of the main issues is the way the media has portrayed feminism. Extreme feminism is more frequently documented, alienating the cause and misconstruding what feminists believe in. It is no secret that there are a lot of issues in the media with how both men and women are represented and feminism strives to understand and better these representations.
A common misconception of feminism is that it fights for women to be in power over men. This simply isn’t the case. Google defines feminism as:
“The advocacy of women’s rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes.”
However this is not to say that feminists do not care about the treatment of men. Feminists understand how gender roles can be damaging to both men and women and how society puts pressure on both genders to conform.
I think feminism should be taught in schools from a young age. The Always #LikeAGirl advert shows how early sexist remarks that seem harmless can actually impact young people and begin damaging self esteem and confidence. I believe children should be taught media literacy so they can understand the messages and examples they are exposed to on a daily basis. I believe this will benefit young people and equip them with the knowledge they need to make better strides to a more equal society.
If I had to sum up why I am a feminist I think one of the easiest ways is to explain that I have a mum, sisters and female friends. I would never want those people to miss out on opportunities just because they are women. I want them to feel valued and have the same opportunities anyone else has throughout their lives and careers.
I am considering doing my dissertation for university on something around women in the workplace and whether they get the same opportunities. I might write more about feminism as I continue to develop my blog as it is such an important topic that really interests me.