Sunday, 19 June 2011

Take this pink ribbon off my eyes...

...I'm exposed
And it's no big surprise

Don't you think I know
Exactly where I stand
This world is forcing me
To hold your hand

I can’t actually remember when I knew I was a feminist. I know, I should be able to recall the exact moment when the light bulb went off over my head and I realised it. But I can’t. It was definitely after I started high school, maybe some time in Year 8? I think it just occurred to me one day that this anger I felt whenever someone said anything sexist, this disgust at the treatment of women in society, this want for equality between girls and had a name. Feminism.
I hate how that word’s been warped by the media’s stereotypes. So many girls shy away from being labelled a feminist because of that stigma that we’re all hairy-legged, man-hating lesbians. For the record, you can be a feminist whatever you look like, whatever race or orientation you are. I shave my legs, I wear dresses, I occasionally wear high heels, I enjoy wearing lipstick and skinny jeans and going shopping. I like flirting with boys. It doesn’t make me any less of a feminist. Feminists can be girly-girls, tomboys or anything in between. Feminists can even be guys.

Being a feminist is about wanting equality between men and women. That is, in its most basic form, what it’s all about.

I hate how women feel compelled to modify ourselves into society’s ideal, thanks to the standards held up by the media and the fashion industry in particular. (Sidenote: Not everyone in those industries is evil. I read fashion magazines, and I’m planning on being a journalist.) I hate how in some countries, women have horrible things done to them and are treated so unfairly, simply because of their gender. I want for women and men to have the same rights, the same opportunities.

Finally, I hate the term ‘girl power’. When people use it to describe feminism, it just pisses me off. It’s such an infantilising term, reducing feminism down to something twee and laughable, not to be taken seriously.

It’s not ‘girl power’. It’s called feminism. And yeah, I’m a feminist.

'Cause I'm just a girl, little old me
Don't let me out of your sight
I'm just a girl, all pretty and petite
So don't let me have any rights

Oh...I've had it up to here!

Merci beaucoup,

Song lyrics from “Just a Girl” by No Doubt

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