Today I’m going to cover something I don’t normally discuss on here, but I feel very strongly towards.
By definition, Feminism is ‘the advocacy of women’s rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes.’
To me, a 20 year old university educated western girl, one gender being superior to the other seems ludicrous. I’ve grown up in a household where everyone is treated fairly and work is shared out equally, regardless of gender. My dad has always done as much, if not more housework than my mam , and my sister and I have had just as many opportunities as our male counterparts.
However, I among with most women I know, have been victim to sexism.
I may have the power to vote, equal opportunities in education in the country I live in and supposedly the freedom to wear/write/speak whatever I wish. But the truth is, women still don’t hold the same power as men (in a lot of cases).
In some countries in the world, as I’m sure you’re all aware, women are their husbands/fathers property. If my boyfriend told me to change because I was showing too much skin, I’d tell him to piss off, but unfortunately a lot of women don’t have that power.
Whether you don’t have the power to vote in a general election, or the boy’s won’t let you play football with them because ‘you’re a girl’, it is all on the spectrum of gender inequality.
Around the world, women are paid less than men, in most countries earning on average 60%-75% of men’s wages (World Bank Gender Data Portal, 2015). Why should someone, doing the same job, earn less?
Up to 30,000 women a year are sacked from their jobs just for being pregnant (Equal Opportunities Commission, 2005). Aye, just because we are carrying out the miracle of life (a miracle men obviously cannot do), we are punished for it?!
I don’t want this to be some man-hating essay, as feminists are often type casted as. I love men; male family members, male friends, my boyfriend, male actors, the list goes on. But inequality amongst the sexes, is something we should no longer have to put up with.
I watched ‘Suffragette’ just recently (I’d recommend), and if Emmeline Pankhurst had to throw herself under a horse to raise awareness for women’s rights back in 1928, what do we, almost 90 years later, have to do to secure equal pay?
Can anyone remember that viral video a few years back, where British Actress (and certified babe) Emma Watson made a speech addressing gender equality for the HeforShe UN campaign. She stated that ‘No country in the world can yet say they have achieved gender equality’, a shocking truth for a lot of us.
But at least on a personal level, all we can do is support one another, and spread awareness. Rights should be genderless, they are called HUMAN rights for a reason, and we are entitled to equal opportunities and treatment.
Nowadays, we have the power to broadcast our opinions and thoughts for the whole world (hypothetically) to see online. Why not use that platform for good. Not just to fight the bigger issues, but to give women on women support in general.
There’s a lot in the press recently surrounding girl-on-girl hate, who has the best ‘squad’, who wore the dress better, Kim v Taylor, Beyoncé v Rihanna; but what should we all be doing?.. Spreading the lurrrrve. Not to sound like the Dalai Llama or owt, but a bit of positive encouragement and female empowerment goes along way.
If your friend looks fit on her new Instagram selfie, make sure you tell her. If an elderly lady comes into your work and she’s rocking her floral blouse, make sure she knows. It’s the small things that make a difference, and unite women for all the right reasons.
The more respect we have for each other, the more effective we can be by joining up to fight the cause.
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