“The word feminism needs to be taken back. It needs to be reclaimed in a way that is inclusive of men.” Annie Lennox
Feminism gets blamed for all types of societal ills, but actually we think the word needs to be reclaimed. Feminism simply means making the world equal for men and women. Too many boys are not brought up to believe of women as their equals. We now have a whole new battleground opening up online where young men can attack, humiliate and belittle women.
When women face sexual and death threats for speaking up about gender issues in the public sphere, it is little wonder that only 29% of American and 42% of British women would describe themselves as feminist. However, women’s reluctance to use the feminism tag sends out a negative signal. It’s as if they were rejecting the same rights they enjoy every day.
It’s the biggest irony that educated, professional women who opine on whether or not they are feminists on TV, in newspapers and online is in itself evidence of the gains of feminism. The rejection of feminism by the very women it benefits is evidence of one of the biggest con jobs in history. Imagine if, in the 1960”s it had become fashionable for black people to say they ‘weren’t into’ civil rights. As Caitlin Moran, author of ‘How to Be a Woman’ points out: “I wonder – “Do you know what feminism is ladies?” What part of liberation for women is not for you? Is it the freedom to vote? The right not to be owned by the man you marry? The campaign for equal pay?”
Why do so many women reject feminism whilst accepting it’s benefits?