My quarter-life crisis & what I want to do about it.By Courtney Burgam
“We need to reclaim the word 'feminism'. We need the word 'feminism' back real bad. When statistics come in saying that only 29% of American women would describe themselves as feminist - and only 42% of British women - I used to think, What do you think feminism IS, ladies? What part of 'liberation for women' is not for you? Is it freedom to vote? The right not to be owned by the man you marry? The campaign for equal pay? 'Vogue' by Madonna? Jeans? Did all that good shit GET ON YOUR NERVES? Or were you just DRUNK AT THE TIME OF THE SURVEY?”
― Caitlin Moran,
I'm here today to answer a question I was left in a previous post. No, feminism isn't getting a bit old. Sure, it's been around for quite some time, but that didn't seem to be what you meant. It was important back then and is important right now. We are still not paid equally, we are still not trusted with our own reproductive organs, we are still subjected to sexism, I still hear sexist jokes and double-standards and am sure you do as well. Ever hear, "You throw like a girl"? Which is typically something said to a man. It is meant to make him feel like a woman which is supposed to make him feel bad; therefore, women=bad. Ever been seen girl/woman be assertive and called a bitch? But a man can be assertive and he is praised for it? That's a double-standard. You STILL do not get paid equally to a man for the same work. You STILL are subjected to discrimination because you are a pregnant woman in the workplace.
Women before you have made it possible for you to wear pants, to earn & keep a paycheck, to not have to get permission from your husband to get a hysterectomy or a mastectomy, to vote, to have goals and dreams, to go to college/university, to not have to marry a man in order to survive. So I will say it again, and hopefully it is understood why. No, feminism isn't getting a bit old. It is not a trend. It is a social issue about the treatment of human beings. It is a civil rights issue. There will always be people who care about it. To think that it can be changed with one swift movement is naive. These things take time and you must raise multiple generations to believe that all humans are created equal. Do you think the Civil Rights Movement caused racism to go away? NO. So, do you think allowing women to vote made her equal? NO. Allowing her birth control rights? NO. None of those things have made us truly immune to discrimination. Things have improved drastically, but there is still more work to do. Many women who are now mothers to teens and 20-somethings grew up thinking everything was fine, that the playing field has been leveled probably because they compared it to the days when they were legally being discriminated against. So there seems to be this generation of teens and young adults who do not understand the importance of feminism.
Luckily, girls seem to be self empowering. Ladies like Tavi Gevinson and Arabelle Sicardi are amazing role models for young feminists, but as an almost-25-year-old, I still feel a distance from them. I'm worrying about different things at my age and feel like the reason Tavi has such a large following of non-teens is because there are young women out there striving and starving for someone to talk to about being a feminist at their age. Does Rookie tell you how to deal with sexism in the workplace? No. Because like it says on their site, it is a website for teenagers and teenagers typically do not have office jobs. What I have been thinking about lately is how to communicate with these young women and maybe convert a few into realizing that they are feminist. I have quite a few acquaintances/friends who are into feminism and each focuses on particular issues within feminism which I find absolutely fascinating and see an opportunity here to do something great with it. There's Madeline at Jean Greige who could talk your ear off with slut-shaming and harassment, there's Haley with her amazing blog on redefining body image, my mom with her 70s feminist views and stories of her experience with sexism in the workplace as well as rights women did not have even in the 80s. I want more! I want to get young women together to talk about these issues and experiences. I want to inspire more women to be feminists or to make them realize how much of a feminist they already are. So be prepared for something. I know I at least want to get these women together to inspire discussions, but I would like something that allows women (and men!) to get involved in the discussion even if they do not live in the Detroit/Metro-Detroit area.
Phew! Well, there you go. If you pulled a tldr; then that's your loss.