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Feminism – the new F word

Feminism – the new F word
Jeerawut Rityakul / Alamy Stock Photo

You’ve most likely experienced Google search prediction. You know, when you start a search on Google and you see suggestions based on what other people are searching for.

Well, I started to type the word feminism in this blank white box and the first prediction to appear was feminism definition.

What? Surely most people will know what feminism is by now after all the news articles, TV programmes, marches, books, podcasts, Twitter hashtags and Facebook posts. It’s been in the public sphere quite a lot over the last few months.

So, why are people searching for the definition of feminism? Has the word become somehow more complex? Possibly.

Feminism has been used so much and in so many ways that we are just not quite sure what it means anymore and we are too scared to use it and to associate ourselves with it. So scared, it made it to the selective list of words one can only mention by their first letter.

 

What is Feminism, then? – I can hear you say. I’m glad you asked!

Feminism is ‘the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities. It is the theory of the political, economic and social equality of the sexes.’ Emma Watson’s speech at the UN.

UN Womens Goodwill Ambassador, Emma Watson launch the HeForShe KAT0YG Caitlin Moran. The "Baileys Women's Prize For Fiction" at Royal Festival Hall, London.D6KAKC Chief operating officer of Facebook, Sheryl Sandberg, presents her book 'Lean in'

 

Feminism is not a fight against men

Feminism is definitely not an anti-men movement. We love men! Men are great. But like everything, too much of it is not good. Feminists are campaigning for equality, freedom and fairness for women.

A status quo dominated by men prevents a society from developing in a balanced and unbiased way.

In her book Lean in Sandberg explains that ‘more female leadership will lead to fairer treatment for all women. The more women attain positions of power, the less pressure there will be to conform, and the more they will do for other women. Research already suggests that companies with more women in leadership roles have better work-life policies and smaller gender gaps in wages.

In other words, by creating a more equal environment, everyone is happier, not just women.

 

Inequality is learnt and that needs to change

Yes, there are some differences between women and men. We are of course biologically different. We all know men have more muscles mass than women, men are capable of fathering children into old age, whereas the fertility of women ends with the menopause, women tend to live longer than men, etc.

But this doesn’t explain why we think there is a weaker sex, a dominant sex, and why we separate and segregate male and female intellect.

Some scientists from Melbourne University say that ‘the behavioural differences between the sexes are not hard-wired at birth but are the result of society’s expectations’.

‘Children don’t inherit intellectual differences. They learn them. They are a result of what we expect a boy or a girl to be.’ says Cordelia Fine author of the book Delusions of Gender.

 

There you go, we do that to ourselves, not mother nature. And these differences start very early in life, persist as we grow older and later feed this gap, this distortion we see today between women and men.

Yet, we need to be aware of these behaviours in other to change them.

That is what feminism is about.

 

I am ending the blog with one of my favourite quotes from Caitlin Moran:

 

‘ What is feminism? Simply the belief that women should be as free as men, however nuts, dim, deluded, badly dressed, fat, receding, lazy and smug they might be.’

 

 

 

My Feminist Playlist

 

 


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