Feminist has been branded as a dirty word. Let’s change that.
The word feminism has bad connotations and even I used to describe myself as “not one of those feminists” (back when I was young and naive.)
But today, as a proud and very open feminist, I am constantly reminded that there are many stigmas in choosing to describe yourself as a feminist.
I’ve been described as ‘angry’, ‘misinformed’, ‘a slave to conformity’, and my honest to God favourite comment of all time (from a man of course), ‘you just need a good seeing too.’
To some, even simply mentioning the word feminist ruffles their tail feathers – and this goes for both men AND women. I have been criticised by both sexes for my strong beliefs, but at the end of the day, I’m proud, I’m strong enough to fight off the hostility, and I’m ready to take on the rest of the world – whether you support my beliefs or not.
I have faith in the cause, I understand the roots.
I’ve educated myself on the struggle, the history, the many different faucets and the modern-day queens/kings who are pioneering the way to a better world.
For many people, the word feminist comes with a sour taste – but for me, feminism is believing that every single women matters just as much as anyone else. As women we have had to fight hard, work harder and dream bigger – I’m lucky enough to live in a society where almost anything is possible if you work hard enough for it – now I know I’ll never be a Victoria Secret Angel, because I’m nowhere near tall enough, athletic enough or gorgeous enough, but to limit someone’s path just because they were born with a vagina is where I draw the line.
The amount of university essays I have written about gender have made me realise how much of a raging feminist I am. Having gone to “girl chats”, the women’s march, sat with strong women and listened to endless TEDtalks, I’ve decided to not sit still and not take anyones bull any longer. Whatever gender, sexuality, race, origin, whether you’re a Kahjiit or an Argonian, everyone deserves equality – and there are still so many areas of a 21st century Western society that needs to pull their socks up and realise that they’re lagging.
Women are sexually objectified in everyday society, the glass ceiling is in most workplaces, the media representation of women, unrealistic beauty standards, the pay gap, inconsistent and idiotic healthcare requirements/restrictions. Need I go on?
As I woman I am more likely to be earning less than my male counterpart in position where we have the same title, and have the potential to be sexually harassed by my boss, and be expected to take it, in order to keep my job.
As a woman, I have had to live with cat-calls and adapt to being in public on my own, constantly living in a world of not being able to trust anyone and fearing everything.
As a woman, I face discrimination at every faucet, just because of my vagina – it’s time to start breaking down barriers and start speaking up at the injustice in our society.
Now let’s talk sex.
Everyone deserves to the right to affordable healthcare, the choice about what is done with their own bodies, making sure women have access to contraception, medicine, treatment, sanitary products and every other pain in the ass expensive that comes from being a woman.
Did you know that the morning after pill costs around £16? Whereas condoms are offered for free – yes I understand the morning after pill is for emergencies, and it should be the final precaution, but that’s an expense some women can’t afford.
“If you can’t afford it, don’t have sex.“
For some, poverty is a long-term situation and it’s so easy for those on the outside to make comments. I’ve been lucky enough to be able to afford emergency contraception, to be able to get access healthcare whenever I need it, I’m privileged, and I know that, but to deny someone a primal instinct seems immoral to me, but that’s just my opinion.
Now, we turn to the infamous ‘pill’, which causes so many side effects that many women despise having to take to stop themselves from becoming and pregnant. And if by chance they do get pregnant, they can be shunned for not having done more to prevent it – because that’s all the girls fault, not like there was anyone else involved? Right? And even getting the pill is hard enough as it is – I have been taking my contraceptive pill for around 4/5 years, yet I still have to jump through hoops to get a hold of it, constantly feeling like I’ve run over some bodies cat when all I want is a god damn tablet to regulate my periods and stop me from getting pregnant if/when I do have sex.
I’m not saying feminism is all about raging about sex, and the gender pay gap, there’s a lot more too it. There are many obstacles we have to overcome just because we were born with vaginas. They may seem small to many, but to the few they are problems that can cause life changing results.
Let’s all me friends, lovers, dog buddies and live in a world where everyone can be themselves and we can all support each other. I don’t think I could think of a better ending to the day.