Thursday, October 30, 2014

Feminism. I want everything and the right to moan about it.



I have a little something to say about feminism. There is SO much about this on the internet of late, but I am going to weigh in. I have really strong feminist views and I have to be careful about how I word them.

I did a presentation on feminism at uni, and I lost marks for saying the words ‘Ball busting’ ‘Gloria Iron box’ and for answering a question on bra burning, by suggesting that it if a woman would rather tuck her breasts into her undies than experience the discomfort that comes with wearing a bra, if she felt that the reason for wearing a bra was purely for the aesthetic pleasure of a man, then she should be able to.

Please limit your vocabulary to academic language only Emma.

Noted.

I know I am what you could consider, ‘Easily angered’, however nothing grates my cheese more than people who say that feminism in the first world, is unnecessary, or that the need for feminism is the fault of men.

Whilst it’s true that feminist issues of the past, have largely been rectified by law, at least on paper anyway, we have the right to vote, and work all be it for a rate of pay less than a man, despite comparable roles, responsibilities and academic skills, and we have choices in our daily lives not afforded to the women in our ancestry, the truth is that having a vagina is STILL going to limit you today, and it is everybody’s fault.

Feminism is everybody’s issue. At the core of first world feminism, is a primary need to rectify not just gender equality, but people equality. It is not about women being able to do everything a man can do, it is just as important that men are able to do everything women can do, it is people, being able to do what people can do.

It is existing as a person, free to make choices and be supported in those choices, even if those choices are contradictory.

Want to get plastic surgery? Do it! Don’t agree with plastic surgery? Don’t! Want to dress modestly or in revealing clothing? Do that!  Want to gain weight? Lose weight? Have sexual freedom, monogamy... NO ONE CARES!!!

Trivialising feminist issues with tabloid like gossip around the choices of women and calling it feminism is damaging. That’s the truth.

I will tell you why with a few more.

One of the largest inequalities experienced by the female gender in this nation is a lack of safety.
The truth is that statistically speaking, females in this country are not as safe as males in this country.

 Recorded levels of violence against women in this country are at levels that qualify as epidemic proportions, and yet most people are more concerned with their chances of contracting Ebola, than they are with their chances of experiencing gender based violence.

The truth is that FIFTY SEVEN PERCENT of Australian women will experience at least one incident of physical or sexual violence in their lifetime. That is more than half of us. 

Take a look at the woman beside you on the train, on the bus, in the car next to you at the traffic lights, at the school gate. Statistically speaking, it will be you or her.

Before you start, I’m not saying that all men are violent; in fact, it is my experience that most men are not violent. I feel perfectly safe around all of the men in my life, but this does not take away from the fact that a women’s right to safety within her own body is not equal in this nation, nor in any nation worldwide.

We have warnings on cigarette packages in this nation. Smoking is a dangerous and risky habit, warnings with graphic pictures flood our televisions, internet, radio, billboards and social media pages. You are asked if you are a smoker before taking out insurances. My morning television viewing reminds me of this every day. Have you seen that ad?

“Life insurance? Sure I can help you there! First I’ll need your age and your smoking status”

Perhaps those insurance adds should also ask if you have a penis or a vagina, because do you know a health warning I hadn’t seen until I started researching the accurate safety of women in this country?

VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN IS THE LEADING CAUSE OF DEATH IN VICTORIA, FOR WOMEN AGED 18 TO 55. THIS VIOLENCE CAUSED MORE PREVENTABLE DEATH, DISABILITY AND ILLNESS IN THIS AGE BRACKET, THAN SMOKING, OBESITY OR HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE.

True story.

According to a Department of Community Services financial report on violence against women, the cost of domestic violence to the Australian economy in 2009 was 13.6 billion dollars.

It would be amiss of me not to mention the fact that men are also victims of domestic violence. In fact men are less likely to report domestic violence, so gaining an accurate figure is difficult. Violence against men, women, children, ANY violence is unacceptable.

These incidents of violence, as unacceptable and tragic as they are, do not make being women in this country any safer. 
They are never a valid argument for the redundancy of feminism. So stop.

Anyway, I'm annoyed now, so I’m going to let that sink in for a minute while you click through the latest feminist debate over the ins and outs of Renee Zelweggers facial features and decide that feminism is a bunch of whining women who want everything, and the ability to moan about it.

I don’t want everything; I want to survive being the female gender unscathed. Until we stop making feminist issues out of the size of Kim Kardashians arse, Renee’s eyelids, the size of Miley Cyrus’s foam finger,  who did and did not lose the baby weight the fastest, and start REALLY  looking at the real reasons women are limited in this nation, statistically speaking, more than half of us wont.

That’s all I have to say about that.


Emma xx