Why It’s OK to be a Bad Feminist

Feminism has copped a lot of slack lately. It is now a term of derision and many people say ‘I believe in equlality, but I don’t identify as a feminist.’  There’s such a big anti-feminist movement that when you google feminist, one of the first things that appear is the website ‘Women against Feminism.’ And when did it become a bad thing to be a feminist? Perhaps the following video could be fuelling the anti-feminist fire.

Unfortunately, this has been watched over 700 000 times broadcasting incorrect and damaging information about feminism. Feminism has nothing to do with giving entitlements to women or trying to make them superior to men as she suggests in her I’m not a feminist because… photo. And that’s why knowing what feminism is and what it stands for is so important. And this is the same woman who claims that ‘the west does not have a rape culture.’ She has been misled to believe that feminism is a women only movement, and by her spreading this message to such a large audience, can be detrimental for feminism and what it stands for.

Emma Watson delivering her speech at the launch of the He For She Campaign. Source
Emma Watson delivering her speech at the launch of the He For She Campaign. Source

If you weren’t living under a shell last year, you would have heard Emma Watson’s speech for the UN’s He For She Campaign, which addresses the crucial role that men play in the feminist movement. And this is the most important part, men and women should work together to overcome gender inequality because men suffer from being ‘imprisoned by gender stereotypes’ as well (Watson, 2014). So, to clear up some things;

Feminism is not: ‘laziness, bitching on Tumblr and policing other people’s free speech’ (1), demonizing men (2) or special treatment (3)’ (women against feminism)

Feminism is: the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities. It is the theory of the political, economic and social equality of the sexes.

Source.
Source.

Many people are under the impressions that ‘they don’t need feminism because gender inequality doesn’t exist in our society’ or as Kayley Cuoco said ‘I’m not a feminist because I’ve never experienced inequality(Jones, 2014). Just because you personally don’t experience inequality, it doesn’t mean it’s not real. The UN’s Millenium Development Goals 2015 Report highlights that gender inequality is still experienced world-wide.

Women continue to face discrimination in access to work, economic assets and participation in private and public decision-making. Women are also more likely to live in poverty than men. In Latin America and the Caribbean, the ratio of women to men in poor households increased from 108 women for every 100 men in 1997 to 117 women for every 100 men in 2012, despite declining poverty rates for the whole region.’ (UN, 2015)

Germain Greer who is a leading Australian feminist, actually says that it is important that we don’t define feminism because by defining it, we are giving it limitations. ‘It’s important that feminism is allowed to evolve and change over time.’ (reference Q&A video) which can hopefully help overcome it’s exclusivity. However * argues that by having a more ‘dynamic definition it will enhance understanding and significance among men and women’ (Offen, 1988). This highlights the different ideas people associate with feminism and why it isn’t so simple to define or easily agreed upon.

Feminism is also generally associated with white, middle class women and excludes a person of colour or anyone else that doesn’t fit the criteria. Roxane Gay is what she calls a ‘Bad Feminist,’ because she does not fit the ‘traditional characteristics’ of a feminist of ‘being all, and having it all.’ Of course this raises many other questions regarding racism, however in the following TED talk, she discusses feminism and why she is a ‘Bad Feminist.’

The most significant part of her talk is where she proudly says ‘we can boldly claim our feminism. I’d rather be a bad feminist than no feminism because feminism gave me a voice.’ So regardless of what we call it, this is why we need it.

Personally, I am a feminist because I believe that all children have a right to education. Because women deserve the right to make decisions regarding their own body. Because I don’t want to be objectified or sexualised. Because men and women should work together to achieve equality. Because I am a young women who should have the opportunity to accomplish my dreams.

This is what a feminist looks like. Source
This is what a feminist looks like. Source

References

Jones, A 2014, ‘I’m not a feminist and I love feeling like a housewife’, Gawker, 12 December, http://gawker.com/kaley-cuoco-im-not-a-feminist-and-i-love-feeling-like-1676352429

Offen, K 1988, ‘Defining Feminism: A Comparative Historical Approach’, Signs, Chicago Journals, Vol. 14, No. 1, pp. 119-157

The United Nations Millenium Development Goals Report 2015, http://www.un.org/millenniumgoals/2015_MDG_Report/pdf/MDG%202015%20rev%20(July%201).pdf

Further Information

Emma Watson’s speech

Q&A’s all women panel on How to be a Feminist

Celebrity Certified Feminism: Visual Essay

This is a visual essay I made for a subject at university. It looks at the misrepresentation of feminism by celebrities in the media and why we need feminism to focus on basic human rights for all women. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love Beyoncé and Miley, however I think more responsibility needs to be applied when representing serious social issues like gender inequality. It can’t all be sequins, booty, free the nipple etc because how is that going to help the women in the world where gender inequality affects their everyday life? We need to not only act for ourselves, but also for those who are not given the opportunity or right to.

xxx A

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The Liebster Award: Nominated!

A Worldly Addiction: Nominated!
A Worldly Addiction: Nominated!

Leibster Award? What is a Leibster Award?! That is exactly what I asked myself when I was nominated. After some research, I discovered that LEIBSTER is German for ‘beloved.’ It’s a way for bloggers (professional or amateur like myself) to discover new blogs, get involved in the blogging community and be discovered by more people. How sweet! So you can imagine my surprise and excitement when I was nominated by Danika Maia- http://danikamaia.com/. Thank you so much Danika and I hope you enjoy this post as much as I enjoyed writing it! If you wish to know more about me, check out my post here! 

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Danika has asked me these wonderful questions;

1. Why did you decide to start a blog?

I started blogging last year about my travel and daily adventures of living in London. It was a new and exciting way for me to write regularly and also keep my friends and family up to date with my life. When I started university this year, some of my Communications and Media subjects required blogging as part of the course. I learnt simple things about blogging and really loved the unique experience. I then decided to make this blog mine, incorporating my studies, thoughts, travels, adventures and a little bit about myself into my blog. My goal is to be a writer/journalist and I figured blogging is a good way to start that off!

2. Where did you have your first kiss?

A lady never kisses and tells 😉

3. How many languages can you speak?

Je parle un petit peu français. I’m currently studying French and planning on going on exchange to a French speaking country to further my language skills.

4. What’s your favourite app?

To be honest, I don’t use that many apps because my phone is filled with music! However I do love Instagram! Oh and I also recently downloaded Minesweeper, remember the really old default game on PC’s? Yea, that’s occupied a lot of my time!

5. If your life was a movie who do you think would play the main characters?

I have an unhealthy obsession with Johnny Depp so he’d have to be in there somewhere (swoon). My brother would have to be played by the actor who plays Luke Dunphy from Modern Family. My sister, maybe Anne Hathaway because she has perfect teeth and is stunning. I don’t know if anyone else could play my parents, I’m sure that’d be a very demanding role. I think they’re the only ones who can pull of parenting me. And I think I’d like to have Emma Stone around for some laughs, Eddie Redmayne for some eye candy and Emma Watson for some motivation to change the world!

6. What do you want to accomplish with your blog?

I really admire World of Wanderlust and have been taking her tips for some time now. My ultimate dream would be to travel and live around the world, writing about my experiences and inspiring people to fulfil their dreams.

7. Are you in a relationship?

Like I said I don’t kiss and tell, however there is a very special and handsome French man in my life

8. What is your favourite thing to eat after a night out?

KEBABS!

9. What’s your favourite cocktail?

Strawberry Daiquiri! Anything that has pretty fruit on top of it!

10. How many countries have you visited and what’s the next one you need to see?

I’ve been everywhere man! (not really) But one day I want to say it and mean it! Here’s a list of the 16 countries I’ve been to. My favourites would have to be Scotland, Iceland and France!

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Alright, so here’s the rules for the Leibster Award!

1. thank the person who nominated you, and post a link to their blog on your blog.

2. display the award on your blog.

3. answer as many questions about yourself, which will be provided to you by the person who nominated you.

4. nominate 10 blogs that you feel deserve the award.

6. create a new list of questions for the blogger to answer.

7. list these rules in your post.

8. Inform the people/blogs that you nominated them.

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So here’s my top 10 favourite blogs at the moment! And on a personal note… thank you for inspiring me each in your own lovely way x

1. Travel Chick Diaries – http://travelchickdiaries.com/

2. Dating Dilema- http://datingdilemma1.com/

3. Everyday Adventures – http://everydayadventures365.com/

4. Have You Heard the Latest – http://haveyouheardthelatest.com/

5. The Bella Travelista – http://thebellatravelista.com/

6. Hannah Gale – http://hannahgale.co.uk/

7. Erik Conover – http://erikconover.com/

8. Ali Does it Herself – http://alidoesit.wordpress.com/

9. Lady Lauren Hutch – http://ladylaurenhutch.wordpress.com/

10. World of Wanderlust – http://www.worldofwanderlust.com/ (A BIG inspiration of mine)

11. (I know you’re only supposed to do 10 but who ever follows the rules) Nat’s Nutritious Delicious- http://www.natsnutritiousdelicious.com/

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If you accept and follow the rules, here are my questions to you!

1. Rock of Pop music? Favourite musician?

2. Favourite place you’ve ever been?

3. Coffee or Tea?

4. If you could have any animal as a pet, what would you want?

5. Why do you blog?

6. If you had one wish, what would it be? (you can’t wish for more wishes)

7. If you could have dinner with one famous person, who would it be?

8. What are you addicted to?

9. Chocolate cake or ice cream cake?

10. If you could become fluent in a language, what would it be?

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I hope you accept my nomination and enjoy this post as much as I did whilst writing it!

Peace and Love to everyone

xxx

A

A WORLDLY ADDICTION

Feminism is not Fallacious

‘For the record, feminism, by definition, is the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities. It is the theory of the political, economic and social equality of the sexes.’ – Emma Watson

Miss Emma Watson with General Ban-Ki moon
Miss Emma Watson with General Ban-Ki moon

Recently, there has been a big hype around the dreaded or welcomed word – FEMINISM. Especially after actress, Emma Watson, delivered a powerful speech to the UN this week. Whilst people in the 21st Century might have mixed feelings towards the word, it is by no means a new word or concept. Feminism started in the 1800’s, and we have authors such as the brilliant Mary Shelley (and her activist mother) to push for equality. Yet fast forward 200 years and inequality – not just towards women – is still a prominent issue.

I will admit, like Emma herself, I too have been absolutely privileged to be born healthy, into a kind and loving family, in Australia, one of the safest countries in the world and attend primary and high school, and now be at university. I am incredibly grateful and appreciative of what I have been given and as Emma says, I feel a sort of responsibility to help those who don’t or won’t have access to these things.

For a long time now, I have believed in EQUALITY of all kinds. Yet one thing I didn’t understand was why Feminism, supporting gender equality, was such a taboo topic. As soon as you mention the word, people roll their eyes and groan, assuming you’re a lesbian who doesn’t shave her legs or armpits and hates men. And this is why I’m thankful that someone as beautiful, intelligent and powerful as Emma has set the record straight.

I agree that equality requires EVERYONE. Men, women, boys and girls, from all countries, religions, races and beliefs… everyone. And by uniting together, we can conquer more than gender inequality, but maybe even hunger, access to clean water, deforestation, domestic violence… the opportunities are endless. On one condition… we unite together for a better world.

I feel that the most powerful part of her speech came down to these simple words. ‘If not me, who? If not now, when?’ We can apply this not only to social issues like gender inequality, but to every aspect of our lives. Personally, I’ll be sure to ask myself these questions when I am writing and trying to achieve anything I set my mind to.

I feel saddened that people have opposed her address, even with a Emma, You’re Next, website being launched, counting down the days, hours and minutes until her apparent nude photos are leaked. This is just highlighting the predatory nature some men possess over women, and I think it’s pathetic and I’m sure Emma does too. Regardless of whether or not nude photos exist is not the issue. The issue is sharing private explicit photos of women on the Internet. This is a form of sexual assault and harassment and shouldn’t be tolerated in our society. And to be honest, if it were the explicit nudes of the men behind this website, all it would do it prove that they must have small, unimpressive and disappointing dicks and personalities.

My name is Adelaide. I am a feminist because I believe in not only gender equality, but equality for all people.

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