Life > Feminism is not just about females

Posted on June 22, 2017

Image courtesy of The U.S National archives

Dimi Dyakova explores true meaning of the movement and why it involves men too
Feminism. Why does this word scare some people? Is it because when they hear it, they imagine a woman who doesn’t shave and hates men? Or is it because people think feminism is only a female issue?

It is not. It is about achieving equality for both men and women. I’m here to encourage you to see feminism in a different way.

You would think that it is just men who disagree with feminism, but there are many women, as well, who don’t understand the feminist movement clearly, and go against it, too.

For example, some of my female friends don’t like the term and consider it an extremist movement. They go against feminism and its values, which in my opinion is quite ironic, considering that feminism fights for their rights.

Taylor Swift commented on feminism saying, “So many girls out there say ‘ I’m not a feminist’ because they think it means something angry or they picture rioting. It is not that at all, it just simply means that you believe that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities. To say that you’re not a feminist means that you think men should have more rights than women’’

Another example of a famous person discussing feminism is Nigel Farage. However, he made quite a contrasting point to that of Swift. He offered ‘’no policies’’ for women in the 2015 General Election and said that he was glad there’s a lack of feminism in his party.

It is not about one sex being better than the other. Instead, it is about everyone being equal.

It seems that he has misinterpreted the actual meaning of feminism. The definition taken from Oxford dictionaries is “the advocacy of women’s rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes’’. In other words, it is not about one sex being better than the other. Instead, it is about everyone being equal.

Unfortunately, some sexist beliefs from the past have been transferred to the present as well.

How many times have you seen ads of mums smiling while cooking or cleaning? This female representation is called ‘‘the cereal packet family’’ proposed by the sociologist Edmund Leach. He argued that the media portrays women as housewives, encouraging them to be ‘stay-at-home mums’, therefore eroding what feminism stands for.

Even if women do decide to work, this still wouldn’t be enough to overcome the gender barriers. Women are usually not given the highest positions because employers fear they might get pregnant.

A study by the Equality and Human Life Commission, estimated that every year in Britain, around 54,000 new mothers lose their jobs, simply because they are performing their natural ‘job’ – bringing new life into the world.

Undeniable statistics also show that gender pay gap still exists, meaning that women earn significantly less than men overall. According to the Office of National Statistics, today, the general gap for full-time workers is 9.4%. This means that the average pay women receive is 9.4% lower than for men.

We need to start seeing both females and males on the same level

The fact that such inequalities are part of our world should be enough to motivate people to fight them. A result of which are new campaigns supporting women’s rights, such as The Women’s Equality Party. They want to achieve equality in all aspects of a woman’s life- pay, parenting, representation in the media and education.

A recent interview with Emma Watson was concerned about her advocacy of feminism, after her nearly topless shoot for Vanity Fair magazine. Her pictures got many people wondering how she could be a feminist and still show off her body in a provocative way. Emma argued against the accusations saying, ‘’ [feminism] is about freedom, it’s about liberation, it’s about equality. I really don’t know what my tits have to do with it.”

Watson launched her campaign HeforShe on 20th June 2014, meaning that it just had its 3rd year anniversary. It is dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women.

Since then, the campaign has achieved lots of success. Many celebrities have spread the word, which has encouraged their fans to sign up as well, therefore promoting equality and fighting for it together.

If we want to completely eradicate gender inequality, and bring about positive changes for both genders, then we need to start seeing both females and males on the same level. This, in itself, is the main rule of feminism, which shows it is not just about females.

I have decided.
I am a feminist.
Are you?

Dimi Dyakova
Dimi is a student at Winchmore School. She loves writing, reading books and listening to music. She would like to develop her passion into a career as a journalist or writer one day.

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8 Responses to Feminism is not just about females

  1. Shakira June 23, 2017 at 2:37 pm #

    This is an amazing article – and the topic of feminism needs to be looked at today, *especially* because it is considered to be ‘problem solved’.

    It is hard to see how feminism is a solved problem, when women still earn less than men. Yes, 9.4% is a small percentage, but if the job pays £1000 per year, than a woman employee is getting £94 less.

    >A study by the Equality and Human Life Commission, estimated that every year in Britain, around 54,000 new mothers lose their jobs, simply because they are performing their natural ‘job’ – bringing new life into the world.

    This is shocking -And sometimes the mother can’t go back to work because they need to look after the child for longer than ‘normal’, for instance if the child is born disabled like me. Mothers can have up to 52 weeks maternity leave- https://www.gov.uk/employers-maternity-pay-leave/entitlement… but what if this isn’t enough for some mothers- and what if

    And what if the mother has her children, but then feels she ‘can’t get back to work’ because of other ingrained prejudices such as ‘you’re too old to work’? If I was in that situation I would try and ignore these prejudices and do what my rights allowed me to.

    I would also try and support feminism. Feminism isn’t about only women’s rights- but equality for both men and women- and people who identify as neither.

    However feminism doesn’t have only one definition… because movements I think are defined by the people who believe in them… not the people who may see and misrepresent them.

    • Dimi July 5, 2017 at 3:03 pm #

      I agree with you, Shakira. And thank you for the kind words!

  2. Cara June 26, 2017 at 1:07 pm #

    Completely agree!!! Fantastic article very well put!

    • Dimi July 5, 2017 at 3:01 pm #

      Thank you so much!

  3. Lenny July 10, 2017 at 2:44 pm #

    Completely agree with this article. A very big problem in modern society throughout the world is also the idea of the macho man and “boys don’t cry”. This must also be challenged by modern feminists , both men and women.

    • Dimi July 10, 2017 at 5:23 pm #

      Yes absolutely! I still don’t understand why this idea of ”macho” men exists. Everyone should be able to say and express how they feel no matter of their gender.

  4. Aiesha September 12, 2017 at 11:30 am #

    i think that the average pay a woman receives being 9.4% lower than a males average pay is totally unfair because a woman can do a job just as well as a man can, maybe even better. I personally don’t think it’s right that a paycheck is determined on a persons gender and not their abilities but this is well written.

  5. Bibi October 18, 2017 at 10:47 am #

    I totally agree!!! I hope that you will change some people mind with this article.

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