Fight against misogyny begins with identification
Virginia Woolf once described a feminist as “any woman who tells the truth about her life.” But these days a lot of women are still afraid of being honest about their feminism.
In a 2015 Chatelaine and Abacus Data survey, 68 per cent of women denied being a feminist. As strange as it may sound, those women still follow feminist philosophy in their everyday life. So why don’t they want to be called feminists and why is this attitude harmful to women?
Few women clearly understand the meaning of the word. Defined as “the advocacy of women’s rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes” by Oxford dictionary, it seems like an easy concept.
There is a widespread perception that women have achieved everything and should keep aloof. Although somewhat logical, this statement is based on another fear. A fear to open Pandora’s Box.
It is much easier to say, “women can drive and vote, what else do you want?” than to answer this question. Do you want to see seductive women on every second poster, commercial and ad? Do you want to feel safe and sound only in a broad daylight, wearing something “non-provocative?” Do you want to burn the midnight oil and work passionately on something just to hear that everything you do is for men’s attention only?
Many women know they don’t want this, but remain quiet as there doesn’t seem to be a solution.
Imagine this was the attitude a hundred years ago. Imagine that in 1910, 100 women from 17 countries didn’t establish International Woman’s Day because they did not want to come off as too aggressive, or to specify one type, or put any labels.
Without their efforts, would you be able to do what you are doing today? Could you enroll in university? Could you become a journalist, a doctor, a chef? Could you have a credit card to buy those “15 must-haves of a new season” that will make you look younger? Could you stay in a hotel by yourself? Chances are you couldn’t even leave your house alone.
The ugly truth is that no one has equal rights. In spite of various attempts, society is still dominated by one culture, politics, and history—the one that belongs to white rich men.
So why be a feminist in this sad world? Because solutions begin with identification. It is key for women to proclaim being feminist for one simple reason–to unite and stay together. To fight against misogyny, objectification and other gendered issues–together.
We all know the problem exists. But, separated and scared, we don’t know how to solve it. Yet.