8 December 2012

My foray into feminism.

I've always advocated equal rights for females, but I guess I've never really considered myself a "Feminist", as such.

Nowadays feminism is equated with men-hating lesbians who wear dungarees, shave their heads and refuse to wear bras, which is completely wrong.  It's created an odd taboo and I think it's high time this stereotype be put to bed.

I'm writing an essay on the issue of consent in Little Red Riding Hood and I've been thoroughly disturbed by the things I've come across in my research - rape narratives, the initiative behind the SlutWalk (which I never really appreciated before, the site is slutmeansspeakup.org.uk) and the attitude that remains about women who are supposedly "asking for it" by wearing short skirts.  It's harrowing stuff.

Unsurprisingly, this material has brought out my inner feminist, and now every time I come across sexist, malicious content, I get a little bit angry.  The fact that people continue to joke about sexism means it will never be taken seriously, and it justifies sexual harassment   Until women and men are perceived as equals, women ARE being oppressed.  People that think women have achieved equality in the world are wrong - there is still a lot that needs to be done.

For anyone who isn't aware, there has been a massive scandal over the last few days regarding one of Hallmark card's designs with an image that was posted on Twitter by EverydaySexism.  The design of the card is below:

(Courtesy of @EverydaySexism)

The design is said to have passed through checks 15 years ago and wasn't reproduced, but still. Everything is wrong with this card.  Telling a 13 year old girl she needs a boyfriend and that said boyfriend will shower her with expensive goods only if she gets "bigger boobies"... just, what?!

There's also been a scandal with FHM for this image, which jokes about men's "victims" - apparently domestic violence is a laughing matter now?

 (Courtesy of The Independent)

I just don't understand.  How can people say that feminists need to get over themselves when this kind of thing continues to be printed?  And sorry, but if the guy I was sleeping with asked me if he could wear my socks I don't think I'd let him.  They wouldn't fit, for starters, and it's a tad weird.

People may argue that serious things sometimes need to be made into a joke - after all, life is too short to live too seriously - but it's important that sexism isn't made into a joke because rape is no laughing matter.  Labelling women as "victims" is demeaning and shows a complete lack of respect. 

I'm pretty sure no one's laughing when they're raped;  maybe FHM should think about that one the next time they decide to be "hilarious".  I think until men appreciate the horror of being physically attacked/violated and being completely powerless to fight against it, there's not much that can be done.  A little bit of empathy would go a long way.

Over and out.

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