Friday, 26 April 2013

The F Bomb

So, the other day at school I was sitting with a few guy friends and they mentioned something feminism related saying that it was pretty much synonymous to "extremists", and to share my own knowledge with them I replied with something along the lines of "Not all feminists are extremists, some feminists are extremists" and that the new notion given to the word made it seem like the entire concept of feminism is ridiculous and radical. Expectedly, they didn't have that.

Note: Before you indulge in that type of conversation with me or bring it up around me, don't insist on not listening to my perspective and instead just spout back at me what the world has been stuffing into your brain and realize that the "extremist" feminists are referred to as "radical feminists" not just "feminists" and by generalizing an entire movement into one degrading word you are telling the world more about yourself than you are criticizing or ridiculing feminism. And for the record here is the definition of feminism.

feminism |ˈfeməˌnizəm|
noun
the advocacy of women's rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men.
See, advocacy of women's rights. That's it. It's some radical notion that women are people too. Holy shit. Really? Wow. I'm not some Feminazi, so sit down, here are some facts, educate yourself.

To be honest, I'm not entirely bothered to get my point across because I'm very well aware that you can never get your point across to everyone and that sometimes, you just have to stop getting so angry over people that refuse to be enlightened or less arrogantly, hear you out. Just breathe and slowly retreat from the zone of stubborn discussion.

Feminism in history is represented by revolutions and riots, so most people are generally confused when you say you're a feminist in the 21st century because you're not running around in rallies to support your cause, but excuse me dear Mr. or Mrs. Lovely Genuinely Confused Citizen, there are various ways to support a cause aside from protests in the streets, especially when the majority of the world has already established that women do have rights (I am aware that that's the logical thinking but surprisingly, many people didn't know that!!!!!!!!!!!111). It's like, girl, what are you complaining about, we open the door for you, isn't that enough? You get to vote or whatever, isn't that enough? No, lovely person, you don't have to open the door for me - although that would be classy and you'll get a lot of bonus points for that, so wahey - it's far more than the gestures everyone yearns for (Not really)

Nowadays, there are various other ways of showing support of a cause, because donating money to charity without actually visiting Haiti and helping out physically does not make you any less of a supporter. It's the same concept.

First of all, blogging. Feminism as a concept and belief is actually quite popular here on the internet and there are many blogs made by and/or targeting the demographic of young women. Blogs like Rookie and The F Bomb actively discuss the rights women deserve and their role in society in addition to how they're portrayed in modern media. A discussion started by Tavi Gevinson in her TED X speech (here) about what makes a strong female character was very interesting to me because it shows just why the image of women in today's men's eyes is so distorted.

Women are never characters that happen to be as complex or independent as most men characters. Instead a single characteristic they possess is emphasized in an attempt to make her seem like the strong character and fool young girls to think that their voices are being heard. Ha ha little girl, we are satisfying your every need by making you look like someone who's strength is her tendency to play up her sexuality, so from now on you have got expectations to live up to missy, don't be so uptight, stop complaining about how the majority of the "attractive, popular and "cool"" female characters have to go out of their way to satisfy everyone's (men's) needs.

Example:

Grease: 

Don't get me wrong, I love Grease, but this is one of those movies where it's just so obvious that the main message is "Being proper is your problem. Get hot and everything will be solved!"and it's just the same old plot;

1. Aww poor naïve Sandy. It totally makes sense why he'd be embarrassed to be with her and easily choose other "hotter" girls over her. 


 2. WAHEY Sandy + Make Over = TO-DIE FOR.


SHE GETS THE GUY. WOOT WOOT.



On the other hand, if you take a look at most movies where the "less popular" guy is trying to get the "super popular and hot" girl, he does that by being witty, intelligent and having complex emotions. Don't we all love the media!

Conclusively (for now, because I feel like I have a lot to say that falls under many subcategories and maybe I shouldn't cram everything in here!) I just think that feminism is definitely misunderstood in this generation and the standards of who can and cannot be a feminist are very irritating and alienating. That's it. 

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