A little while ago, I wrote about how obsessed I am with the Christian Dior SS17 Collection.
ESPECIALLY this look:
Of course I love this ensemble, it’s everything fashion should be: fun, conveys a message and looks fabulous. More importantly though, it got me thinking about the message on the top: “We Should All Be Feminists”. Which to me, is something that just seems so obvious. Of course we should all be feminists, it’s a statement that represents the fundamental human rights of women. Everyone knows that right? Wrong. One thing that constantly blows my mind is how tainted the word ‘feminist’ is. I keep encountering (both in real life and online) so many guys (and sadly women) that on almost every level are progressive. EXCEPT when the word ‘feminist’ comes up.
Apparently, even associating themselves with that word is horrifying. Because to them, the word has a different meaning from its dictionary definition. And I’m not even sure if they know quite what they think it means, but from what I gather it’s something along the lines of an aggressive Shrek-like Ogre, who wants to rip the penis off any person who would have the audacity to have one. The closest I get to a definitive answer; is a response along the lines of “..uh, that women are better than men.” Or “women should be treated better than men” etc. This definition (say it with me) is dead WRONG.
Feminism means: the belief that both men and women should be treated equally.
Not a particularly complicated nor scary meaning is it?
Perhaps it shouldn’t leave me so surprised that a seemingly progressive generation (and nation as New Zealand) would hold an old fashion viewpoint on such an important subject. When our newly appointed Prime Minister, Bill English, claims to not even know what the term means. (Read the full, depressing article here). The fact that a highly educated middle aged man, holding the most important and prestigious role in our Country, can openly and unashamedly state that he has not even bothered to learn the meaning of the term is problematic. Reading what he said and watching the news footage, I was both parts disgusted and horrified that those words could come out of the leader of my Country’s mouth. A Country that is internationally known as being somewhat leftist (on a global scale, our center-right National Party policies fit more with the American Democrats than anything else).
The huge problem I find with the refusal of acknowledgement of the term feminism is that by discrediting the word it discredits all the wonderful things it stands for. Equal pay, homes built on partnership, a celebration of all things feminine as well as its complementary union with the masculine. I see being a feminist as not only loving femininity and women-kind but acknowledging men and women as yin and yang, two sides of a whole. I get offended when someone brushes off the term as ‘femm-nazi bullshit’ because firstly, I have never actually met a femi-nazi – have you? And secondly, it is no hushed fact that we live in a culture where rape allegations DO NOT ruin a man’s career. I have met many, MANY men who think treating women as second-class citizens is ok.
And yet, it is more socially acceptable to put men in power who have been accused of rape than it is to identify yourself as a feminist. So yes, it really does offend me when I meet someone who says they are not a feminist and it always will.