Feminism is a word which has become stigmatised. So what’s the real deal on being a modern day feminist? This article deals with what it is and why it has garnered such a bad reputation. It also explores the views of the influential women in the entertainment industry and the way in which you can make a difference.
What it means to be a Feminist
Feminism is the belief of equal political, economic and social rights and opportunities for the sexes. Throughout history, feminism has taken on different forms (or waves) and has helped to paved the way for women today. Feminism has contributed to many legal and cultural advances for women, through pressures and practices.
Women across the world have been subjected to oppression and some still suffer today. This has instilled the need for ‘modern-day feminists.’ Progressive feminists support an inclusive ideology, including people of all races, sexual orientations and social and economic statuses.
Feminism is about equality of the sexes and reversing oppressive viewpoints, and so it also stands by men who are incarcerated by gender based stereotypes and sexism. Sexist ideals are often instilled from early ages, though certain colours, toys and ideals.
Why Feminism is Stigmatised
Feminism has several negative connotations and has caused controversy for being a radical movement. Attempts to create awareness for rights and opportunities that men taken for granted are often seen as isolating and anti-men.
There are many different ideas of what feminism should be, making it difficult for feminists to unite. Feminism has also been aligned with left wing politics, been criticised for conflicting religions and threatening masculinity. This makes the stigma of feminism very complex. These associations have made it more widely acceptable to denounce the word itself, as opposed to the values which it represents.
Feminism is a simple concept which aims to deal with a multitude of complexities in a patriarchal society. Feminism attempts to fight for the rights of women who are subjected to stereotypes about fashion and female expression, sexual slavery, gender mutation, equal pay, rights (of the body and politically) and being married off, to name a few.
Who Supports Feminism (Celebrities)
Emma Watson: Watson has been appointed as the Goodwill Ambassador of the United Nations and is currently involved in the “HeForShe” initiative. This movement is about creating solidarity for gender equality, by involving men and boys to be advocates for change.
Beyonce: Beyonce considers herself to be a feminist and this is often translated into her music. “Im just a woman and I love being a woman” Beyonce told British Vogue, “I do believe in equality and that we have a way to go and it’s something that’s pushed aside and something that we have been conditioned to accept.”
Taylor Swift: Taylor Swift once dismissed the term ‘feminist’ as she explains “the way it was phrased in culture, society was that you hate men.” After becoming friends with Lena Dunham, Swift realised that she has in fact, unknowingly always expressed the values of feminism.
Other celebrities who are proud to call themselves feminist include Kerry Washington, Kiera Knightly, Susan Sarandon and Jane Fonda.
How You are Impacted
The plight of women who have fought for the equal rights and opportunities for women have lead to some of the freedoms experienced by women in modern day. To initiate further advances, society needs to stand together and correct misinformation regarding feminism. There are still issues to be faced, which include oppression, gender based violence, sexism and rape culture (whereby fashion is used as an excuse for rape). By decreasing fear of the word feminism, we are able to decrease the fear of what feminism actually means. Amy Poehler says it best: “Yes, I consider myself a feminist, and it informs my work only in that it’s just who I am, in the same way hat I’m a woman, or I’m 5’2 or whatever.”
This article has provided a brief overview of what feminism is, who does and doesn’t support it and why it’s important. Without having to label yourself, you may feel more (or less) inclined to respond with a resounding “Yes” when asked if you are a feminist, while simultaneously providing valuable insight into modern day society.