Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Feminism Is Not A Folly

I have noticed that Feminism is a sticky word to slide into conversation, and it strikes me as odd. Why shouldn’t young men and women identify as feminist? Someone suggested to me, that perhaps we are too far removed from the need for traditional feminist ideals. To this I say, fuck yourself with a cactus. The premise of feminism has and always will be equality. Equality across every aspect of our existence. And with one female in Tony Abbott’s new cabinet I think it can easily be seen that this is yet to be achieved.
I asked one of my friends if they identified as a feminist. She said she shaves her legs and so doesn’t really buy into that bullshit. Another friend told me to stop caring so much. Feminism means different things for different people.  This all just made me more confused about the perception of feminism and the role of women in our society. I didn’t realize the amount of hair we choose to harvest on our body, affects our support for women’s rights. Why can’t a clean shaven man be as supportive of equality for women as that of a lesbian with some righteous pubes?

Our media are stupid and we let them control a great deal of what we think about everything. A large portion of us still believe that a feminist is a bra-less man-hater who could braid the hair from her armpits to the floor while counting her collection of coupons for the local abortion clinic – because all feminist are pro-choice, right? The media have lead us to believe that feminism is about strength and ruthlessness (which to a certain extent is very accurate) but they have also stereotyped feminism into something ugly and brutal when it simply isn’t. 

During the first two years of her term as Australia’s first female Prime Minister, Julia Gillard stated I want to govern for all Australians. She refused to label herself as female because it was not something she identified as being relevant to the way in which she lead our nation as head of the Labor party.  I thought this was a really powerful statement, not just for women but for everyone. It extends beyond sexism to the wider issue of acceptance. And yet, one dumb ass in my year 11 Art class still said, Its like she isn’t proud of being a woman.
The same kind of Assholery exists in those who believe Tony Abbott can’t be a misogynist because he has a wife and children.  As a great friend of mine would put it, that is really cute. Do you also go around telling people that Hitler can’t have warranted the killing of millions of people because he was a vegetarian? Gillard’s speech regarding misogyny was made in the most political setting humanly possible, and yet it transcended any politics. The video went viral in a matter or minutes because it resonated with Australians who have been affected by sexism. Her public adherence to feminism towards the end of her Prime Minister- ship only made her message more powerful. Julia Gillard is a testament to feminism existing in a contemporary sense.  Gender does not need to be a boundary or a definition or an identity, because we are all human.

Being proud of your gender is important, but it isn’t everything. 70% of our population enter the world via vagina and 50% of us own one. The vagina is fabulous, and I love it as much as the next person, but the penis is also a fucking awesome appendage. Without each other, we are nothing. Men and their penises can play just as an important role in feminism as women and their vaginas. I think High School Musical was being very pro-feminism when they sang we are all in this together.

I think the point I am trying to make is that everyone should be feminist. Feminism is for those who own a vagina, penis, both and those who don't want to own their genitals. Feminism is for Christians, Hindus, Atheists or people who belong to cult. It is for the Chinese, Greeks, Italians and Native Americans. It is for those who are attracted to men, women, both or neither. Feminism is for cat lovers, dog lovers and my neighbours who decided to purchase a couple of ducks. It is for the rich, the poor, the blind, the bipolar and the healthy.  Feminism is for those who deal, do and hate drugs. Those who have children, want children or are barren. It is for the people who drive a Honda, and the person you sat next on the bus. Feminism is not about the hair on your body but the fact that the owners of vaginas are diminished to be lesser individuals.

Feminism is not a party exclusively for those who have a uterus. Feminism is simply about equality. Why not identify as a feminist?

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