Why do we still need feminism?
I feel like the word itself has been damaged by outdated extremist movements. When some picture a feminist, they envision a stereotype. An angry Germaine Greer type, most likely not wearing antiperspirant, with unshaven arm pits, an ear-piercing voice, bellowing angry words in the face of men. When I picture of a feminist, I see a young woman, seeking education, safety and equality.
The fundamental beginnings of the feminist movement centered on our right to vote. We could even go back as far as the witch trials, but we are all short on time and have equally short attention spans, so I’ll just get to the point. In the early 20th century, women took to the streets with banners and an agenda. They asked for their voices and their votes to be heard. Without the suffrage movement and the inception of femisim, this may have taken decade’s longer to achieve, if at all. How frightening is that thought?
I spent my young working life verbily abused by men. Working as a travel agent in my uni days, I was thrust into the world of customer service, and the unwarranted hatred that comes with it. I have been screamed at. Threatened. Cursed. Occasionally given flowers. Screamed at some more. Told I was worthless and spat on over a $12.50 train ticket to Brisbane. I’ve had my butt slapped with a ruler as I passed my male bosses desk. I was told on countless occasions “lucky you’re pretty”, “don’t tell your boyfriend I said this, but…”, “you stupid girl”, and my favorite “can I speak to your male superior please”. All this for below average wage and little to no benefits. Ahhh customer service… you beautiful, ruthless beast.
This is why we need feminists. People who stand up to this behaviour. Who make those accountable for their actions. Who choose humanity over masculinity. People who believe women deserve better.
To me, that’s what femisim is all about. Love and equality. It’s not saying men and women are inherently the same. Because we aren’t. It’s simply requiring the same pay for the same work. It’s providing equal opportunity for education. It’s about changing our behaviour. Being conscience of our behaviour towards each other. It’s finding common ground in our fight for equality. It’s really not that extreme or difficult. There’s no banners, or loud protests, or angry hipsters. It’s just women wanting to be seen and treated as equal human beings.
100 years ago it was our right to vote. 50 years ago it was our right to work. Today it’s our right to walk home at night and not be raped. It’s our right to be treated with humanity within the work place. It’s our right for equal pay for equal work. It’s our right to education.
Girls and women, from every facet of this earth, deserve better. If this means I’m a feminist, then I’m happy to assume this lable. For feminism is not a dirty word. And one day we will appreciate all it has given us! 💪 #girlpower
📷 Follow our journery at instagram.com/lexie.theordinarymum