Quite a few months ago I did a post on androgyny and feminism, as I was doing a project involving those subjects at university. I’d like to come back to feminism in this post.
It seems like every other day I read something online, without actively seeking it, that reinforces the idea that there are still many issues concerning the equality of men and women today. There are still so many absurd things written online about feminism and women constantly, it feels like we are taking one giant step backwards in time. As I’m writing this I’m thinking, how many people will be really irritated by what I’m saying? When I say that, I am talking about men and women, because it is not just some men who have problems with feminism, it’s some women as well. Feminism is not some hateful war against men, it’s not about shaming men so that women can feel superior, it’s a war against inequality.
It makes me so angry when I read comments like this “At first feminism was about becoming equal, now it is about being superior.” No, what feminism is about never changed, the definition of feminism is always going to be the same. Sure, there are always people within organisations and beliefs, that take things to the extreme, but that doesn’t mean the fundamental definition of the word feminism has changed. Just like religion, you get extremist’s, but that doesn’t define the religion does it? The question I ask is, what has happened in the world of feminism that makes people think it’s about being superior? What have women ever asked for that men don’t already have or have more of?
Some people will say I’m just angry and need something to complain about. Women don’t want to be feminists, it’s a dirty word to most people. So I have the vote now, I should shut up and be happy with what I’m given, this is the kind of attitude I am met with all the time. Let me give you some examples as to why I think we are still not equal.
Robin Thicke. That really great song with the really great music video of all the topless women. Yes women can be topless if they want, but don’t you see that women are constantly sexualised by the media all the time? This being in a completely different and more pornographic way than men are? That video and song itself I am not particularly outraged by, it’s all of these videos and ideals of women. How many music videos have topless or scantily clad women in them? How many music videos have the same but with men instead? Some? You try telling me that it’s equal, that there are just as many music videos with men as the sexual objects, show me the evidence! In the media, women are constantly perceived as sex objects. It’s all about how women look, and they are constantly criticised for not looking the way we want them to, or behaving the way we want them to.
For example, look at all the talent show contests on TV. Ok, now look at the judges. X factor’s judges last year consisted of Gary Barlow, Louie Walsh, Tulisa and Nicole. They rarely put a women on the judges panel who isn’t extremely attractive and under 40, with the exception of Sharon Osborne. Britain’s got Talent has David Walliams, Simon Cowell and Amanda Holden? They always have to have their female ‘eye candy’ but the men can be as old and as plain looking as ever. What about the BBC ousting Arlene Phillips in favour of younger judge Alesha Dixon… and yet Bruce Forsyth will be allowed to present that show till he’s dead!
” The celebrity machine lays so much pressure on their young starlets to be every mans ‘ideal women’ ”
One of the comments on that article has a very good point. Charlie Sheen is a notorious drug user and gets his own TV show. Amy Winehouse and Whitney Houston take drugs and they are vilified by the media as their careers come crashing down very publicly.
Why are women vilified by society constantly? The media constantly puts women on pedestals, and if they don’t abide to the rules they will be publicly humiliated. You may feel like you have equal rights to men but the reality is in some cases you don’t. Of course women want to feel sexy and attractive, it is empowering, but it’s not empowering if your trying to live up to an ideal that others want you to. That program ‘ Snog Marry avoid’ has a majority of female guests on there that are trying to do just that- live up to societies ideal. Feminism is not a hard concept, people just like to complicate it because it scares them.
Thanks for reading!