Feminism. The all time scary 'f' word.
For most females, it's quite normal to have experienced a number of humiliations staged by the opposite sex at some point in their lifetime.
The cat calling by the taxi drivers parked aside as the poor unassuming girl rushes her way through traffic trying to get to work, or is it constant references to her body parts by bus touts, rude comments on her mode of dressing or the manner in which her hair is done?.. to top it all off, publicly, a long string of insults as a result of having refrained from replying or paying any mind to the comments being directed towards them.
But why have we become used to this? Am I supposed to expect some and any form of disregard of my rights as a woman every time I set foot out of my house?
Having had numerous conversations with my peers in the past few weeks, I realized that many women don't find this to be an issue. Yes, they do vouch for equal rights and want to be treated with fairness and respect like the men, but do they see themselves as feminists? No.
What is feminism anyway? one may ask..
(Oh darling, I shall explain but may I suggest that you take a couple of seats cause we might be here a while)
Feminism is the radical notion that women are people. A definition in accordance with the feminist newsletter, New Directions for Women (May/June 1986) in an article written by feminist writer and editor, Marie Shea.
he tried it..
To some women, feminism is not an important issue in their lives. As long as they have that great job, big house and numerous cars to waltz around in to intimidate men into respecting them, then uhmm, it's all cool then, right Amy?
Needless I remind us all that women in Saudi Arabia were allowed to vote in municipal elections for the first time last year but their actions as members of the society are still severely restricted? -a huge violation of human rights.
And so this term..this 'blanket' known as feminism that everyone seems to be running away from, this feminism isn't just only for a section of us, but for all of us.
It helps us understand why some people hate, abuse, exploit, discriminate, and silence certain individuals and communities. It helps us stand up against oppression and demand justice for those who are unable to enjoy freedom and rights that we may take for granted
2016. What a time to be alive.
From Kenya to Brazil to South Korea to Saudi Arabia to wherever else, you name it.. Women have had enough and have teamed up all around the world to help empower and educate each other on the importance of their rights as women.
Tattoo artist and activist Grace Neutral is one of this women. Watching this as an individual, it felt both good and sad to come to the realization that our experiences as women around the globe are quite similar.
"Some people ask: “Why the word feminist?
Why not just say you are a believer in human rights, or something like that?"
Because that would be dishonest. Feminism is, of course, part of human rights in general—but to choose to use the vague expression human rights is to deny the specific and particular problem of gender.
It would be a way of pretending that it was not women who have, for centuries, been excluded. It would be a way of denying that the problem of gender targets women.”
― Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, We Should All Be Feminists
Famous model Adwoa Aboah, another example of arising activists,using her previous personal experience on depression and addiction, she is helping to empower girls through her forum known as 'Girl Talk' and give them the courage needed to speak out on serious issues regarding their bodies and general survival in society.
(photo by i-D magazine)
And the revolution is everywhere, but it has only just begun. Role models have risen, teaching girls to express and be themselves regardless of society's expectations. I guess the gods have flipped their coin, perhaps women can rule this world after all...
FKA twigs, brilliant singer and performer who constantly challenges not only gender norms but also visual perceptions of modern art (photo by Dazed Magazine)
Abra, upcoming R&B phenomena and bad-ass whose style of music
and vision I personally admire (photo by Dazed Magazine)
Chloe and Halle, singers aged 14 & 12 (photo by Dazed Magazine)
Rihanna and her models at her Fenty x Puma fashion show where she showed the Paris Fashion Week and the rest of the world that she does not care and will not conform to gender norms on dressing (photo by Dazed Magazine)
It's small acts by women like these that gravitate the world hopefully towards becoming a better and safer environment for all us girls.
‘It's not as bad as it used to be, we can now make our own choices as women'
BUT IF THAT IS OUR MODE OF THINKING, THEN WE ARE NOT YET WHERE WE NEED TO BE.
We could do better, and we should. We'd all like to raise our daughters to believe they are champions who can conquer the world, have a right to vote, a right to run for a political seat and win with no pity or discrimination, a right to have modern education regarding their rights,a right to divorce and marry whom they please without fear of stigmatization, or even just a right to have no fear when crossing the street..evading all manner of perverts.
It's 2016, not 1986. So yes,
I am a feminist, and I do take honor in the fact that I am one.
Women who have fought hard for their freedom and equality would probably agree with me but hey...
this may just be my opinion, and after all as humans each and every one of us is opinionated, whether we like it or not, but we still have a right to be.
All in all,I leave you with this little piece of advice. Change will come and it is best you begin to embrace it.