Two things happened to me over the weekend. Well, more than two things actually happened over the course of my weekend, but two things in particular stood out.
There are plenty of stereotypes about feminists. Apparently, they have bad hair. They wear Crocs. They hate men. They shout a lot. The feminist movement is presented to us as an alternative to a ‘normal’ lifestyle. According to the media, we can’t be feminists if we wear skinny jeans, spend our overdrafts in H&M or y’know, quite like men. Anyone who blow dries their hair in the morning obviously cannot be serious about equality for women.
This image of the feminist – the one who wears a corduroy skirt that covers her ankles – is pushed by the media (a male-dominated industry, obviously). And the media have a great deal of influence on the general public. The extent of this influence could be seen in the tweets during Beyoncé’s Glastonbury performance. Some tweeters proclaimed that because Beyoncé was wearing a revealing outfit, she had no right to sing anything about ’empowering women’. Apparently, if you’re dressed like a ‘hooker’ your opinion doesn’t count.
Photo from beelover9481’s Flickr
I don’t think Beyoncé was dressed in a provocative way. She was wearing a stage outfit. She had her legs out. She has amazing legs. She’s known for her love of over-the-top diva fashion. Should we discount the messages of empowerment and equality for women in her songs, just because she likes to prance about in her pants while singing them?
I take photos of my outfits every day. I own far too many pairs of shoes. I willingly go through the absolute agony of regular eyebrow threading. I’d also describe myself as a feminist. Take THAT, Daily Mail.
Moran covers lots of interesting things in her book, but it’s her ultimate summing-up of feminism that made me bang my fist on the table and shout ‘YES!’ (shame I was on a train at the time. Sorry for startling you, man in seat 34A). She says feminism, quite simply, is about equality. It’s not about what you wear or if you shave your armpits or how much you flirt with your co-workers. It’s about equal pay, equal opportunities and equal treatment.
So surely, we’re all feminists? Whether we’re slightly obsessed with fashion or couldn’t give two hoots. Whether we’re girls or boys. Whether we own a pair of Crocs or not. If you think the world should be more equal, and there should be more female CEOs, welcome to feminism, my friend. No need to burn your bra.