Monday, September 08, 2014

Tongue Loose Talks...The F Word (Shhh)

Monday, September 08, 2014

The word ‘feminism’ is one we hear often in our day and age, but last year’s research shows that in the UK alone only one 5th of the public claim to be feminist. I am happy to say that 10% of that number are men, but; what is feminism? It seems when reading articles or watching the news, that not everybody knows. 
In October of 2013, Prime Minister David Cameron refused to describe himself as a feminist, whilst also stating that men and women should be treated as equals. He is not the first to reject the word and give its very definition in the same breath; he will not be the last. The list of celebrities alone who refuse to define themselves as feminist as if it is a dirty word, is seemingly endless including big names such as Katy Perry, Madonna and even Mumma Monster, Lady Gaga who once said: “I’m not a feminist. I hail men, I love men…”

One celebrity who doesn’t have a problem with the word is Beyoncé. Not only did she deliver a flawless performance at the VMA’s on the 24th of August including songs from her new, self-titled album but she offered another treat. Ladies and gentlemen, it’s official, Beyoncé is a feminist! In fact, the words glowed behind her in true Beyoncé style as she blew the place down with her all-ladies army, including dancers and instrumentalists. Once again, I was a very happy bunny. It is nice to see someone of her calibre embracing the movement so openly; where so many haven’t, even going as far as to give a definition: “the social, political and economic equality of the sexes”. Before now, people have been in an uproar about Beyoncé’s feminism, especially after she named her world tour “Mrs Carter” and while I’m here, I’d like to say that taking a man’s name doesn’t make someone any less of a feminist. Some choose not to, others do, but it doesn’t matter. A feminist can identify as such and still be allowed to love whilst striving for themselves and their families.

The common misconception of feminism, one that’s aired quite often on the internet; is that feminist are men haters. Some even believe that there is no pay gap between men and women, just that women earn less because they have more sick days or get pregnant (credit for this diamond goes to one particularly idiotic commenter on The Independent website through an article about B). Women occupy only 14.6% of the top earning positions and without that, in the USA, by the time a woman is 60 years old she would have earned $450,000 less than a male in the same position (and in case you want any more of these scary/interesting statistics, click on over to this video at Upworthy). There are articles all over the internet about why so many people believe that all feminists hate men. Some people only seem to hear the louder part of this group and whilst some individuals who identify as feminists may hate men, that does not speak for the whole. As with any group, there will always be those few who ruin it for the rest of us. The sad thing is that so many believe this because it is what we have been told for the last 200 years. Rush Limbaugh said that “Feminism was established to allow unattractive women into the mainstream.” In a letter, Pat Robinson wrote “The feminist agenda is not about equal rights for women. It is about a socialist, anti-family political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism, and become lesbians.”

So let’s make it clear; feminists do not hate men, they do not think that men are evil or all are rapists. Feminism calls for equality in the work place or fights against rape culture (men are raped too) and that’s just the start. This movement doesn’t only call for women to speak up, but for men to do so too, to say that their mother’s, daughter’s, sisters, friends and wives are equal to them, that they want a world where a person’s gender is not a problem. I’m asking what’s so bad about a movement that calls for total equality in every walk of life? Nothing.

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