What Feminism Means To Me.

March 27, 2013 5:04 pm

What is it about the F word (no, not that word) that seriously frightens people off? What’s everyone’s problem with feminism?

Over the past couple of months I have begun to identify myself as a feminist. I have always been a believer of gender equality, and because I’m a woman, I’ve always thought that women that are not be paid the same as men in the exact same job role and workplace is crazy. I started to read up about it, educate myself and become familiar with the subject.

One day, a friend and I met up in Starbucks. In the hustle and bustle of the busy coffee shop we discussed whatever we had on our minds. She discussed her many trails with relationships and looming university choices, I listened away while sipping my Americano. On the subject of relationships, where we talked about how we were both absolutely satisfied with being single and finally being happy about it, I moved on to the discussion of feminism and what it means to me.

bra burning

 

“You know, I think I would identify myself a feminist.”

She responded with this, while nearly choking on her frothy café latte:

“Why would you say you’re a feminist?! Are you going to start burning your bra or what now?

 

Yes, I am a feminist and I don’t see why anybody should be surprised by this. And no, being a feminist isn’t about burning your bra, cutting your hair short and despising men, this is what people perceive feminism as and it is wrong. Feminism, at its core, is the equality of both sexes and defending equal political, economic and social rights to women. The actual definition is, ‘The advocacy of women’s rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes” via the Oxford English Dictionary. Sure guys like to make fun of us girls who identify themselves as feminists, but to me it isn’t a joke.  To me, it’s an important issue that it isn’t talked about enough. I feel that there isn’t enough young women my age standing up for what they believe in, especially when it comes  to women’s rights.

I don’t like the idea of women in 2013 not being paid the same amount as men in the same job role and workplace. I don’t like the idea that owners and managers of businesses grow wary of women as they turn 30 just in case they’ll consider to settle down and pop out some babies. I especially, don’t like the fact that many think women should not be entitled to follow a career, and instead be confined to a household, cleaning and cooking, as if we were are still living in the 1950’s. Now, I’m not saying that all men foresee women in this light, in fact I think it’s great that men are supporting a gender equality, but there are a percentage out there that unfortunately do. As an 18-year-old young woman, ready to embark on university in a few months to study journalism, I consider myself career driven. I have never liked the idea of not following your own career dreams, and the idea that some men out there still think women shouldn’t be career driven, it’s insane. If someone told me not to follow a career in journalism and instead stay at home looking after the house, cooking and cleaning, I’d laugh in their faces and tell them to catch a grip. Years ago our great-grandmothers fought for our rights in the hope of a better future for women, and the fact that there are similar prejudices still going on today is saddening.

Feminism to me is about standing up for women’s rights, and I will continue to fight for gender equality. Saying that, I don’t think feminism is alive and well today. I think it has become a taboo subject that people don’t like talking about, or are maybe afraid of. I’d love to see a day where it is a subject we can speak freely about. Until then, I will continue to express my views.

 

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  • ChrisRobinson

    Great article, Niamh, succinctly put. And there’s still a lot of progress to make…on average women’s pay is 75% of men’s, then there’s the issues around domestic violence etc. Attitudes such as provoked the women who organised the ‘Slutwalks’ etc.

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