Are you a feminist? Chances are you’ve been asked this question in recent months. With certain celebrities choosing to shine a light on their own identities as feminist or anti-feminist, the movement has become a buzz topic, causing us to question our own stance on the matter.
First things first; the word feminist does not mean that you are a man-hating new-age hippie lesbian that doesn’t shave her underarms because all men are pigs. Despite centuries of progression since the early era of male dominance and female subservience, many young women remain hesitant to adopt the feminist label. At least they were, until Emma Watson proudly pinned it to her lapel. Her speech at the UN clarified that it was a male issue as much as a female one and that a revolutionary movement was absolutely necessary to reclaim the equal status of the fairer sex. But what’s fair about the use of the word fairer?
We cannot ignore the blatant sexism that is rife in society for men as well as women today. We have become so preoccupied with girl power that we have neglected the importance of equal treatment. Women are taught to be themselves; an academic, a home-maker, an Olympic medallist; take your pick. Boys, however, have a much narrower spectrum; unless you’re a glowing specimen of athletic prowess, you’re a wimp.
What did you think when you first heard Shia LaBeouf’s rape allegation? Did you assume that he was lying? I know I did. Herein lies the core of the problem; we are automatically on the woman’s side regardless of the evidence. Of course, rape generally denotes female degradation, but we need to broaden our minds to the possibility that men can be victims too. Due to his abnormal behaviour, we filed LaBoeuf’s claim as a ridiculous outburst. But when an equally unusual character like Lady Gaga makes a similar accusation of assault? Well, she is clearly telling the truth, no doubt about it.
A friend of mine was recently sent home from his job as a child-minder as the parents were uncomfortable with his presence. Translation: He has a penis, so he must be a paedophile. If he was a woman, there would be social uproar, a legal battle and monetary compensation. Because he’s a man, we just shrug our shoulders and say “Aw, that’s a shame.” And we will continue to place blind trust in strange females because why wouldn’t we? A woman would surely never harm or abuse a child, would she? Male primary school teachers face this prejudice on a daily basis leading us to question: is it really a man’s world?
There’s no such thing as masculinism. And perhaps there never needed to be. But think of the double standards that we are all guilty of; why is it ok for us ladies to ogle over Heat magazine’s ‘Torso Of The Week’ but if a man purchases a copy of Nuts, he’s a dirty-minded pervert? The over-sexualisation of women is a much debated issue but men aren’t pieces of meat either. We need to remind ourselves that the belief of a female as superior is not feminism. It’s hypocrisy.