Are you a Feminist or Not?

 

For some time now I’ve been hearing women take an anti-feminist stance. From the girl in my college who said she couldn’t stand the thought of a man doing the housework, to bloggers claiming that a girl wearing a short dress is ‘asking to be raped,’ to artists like Lady Gaga and Taylor Swift openly distancing themselves from the movement.

Of course, I can sort of understand men doing it. Most of my friends are men who, while not sexist, don’t like to deem themselves as ‘feminist’ because they mistakenly believe that feminism is about elevating women at the expense of men. More men are not feminists, simply because they, through no fault of their own, do not understand what women go through on a day to day basis; the ‘Everyday Sexism,’ that we face, as coined by Laura Bates.

But women? Women do not have these excuses. Tell me ladies, what part of ‘equality between genders’ does not appeal to you? What part of universities being open to women do you not like? What is it about women being able to have careers and earn their own money that is not for you? When a woman’s rape case is dismissed because the judge didn’t believe that her skinny jeans could be removed without her cooperation, do you pour a glass of champagne? What about when a 16 year old girl was raped whilst unconscious at a party and the town cared more about the ruined reputations of the rapists? Did that make you feel all warm and fuzzy?

While we’re on the topic, did you know that in as recently as 2009, 20% of people in a poll conducted by the Home Office thought that it was ‘acceptable’ for a man to ‘hit or slap his wife or girlfriend in response to her being dressed in sexy or revealing clothes in public.’ This is especially interesting when we remember that 56% of Brits want to see the niqab (full face veil) banned. These ‘oppressing Muslims’ can’t be all that different to us if 20% of us think that we have the right to beat our partners into submission if we deem their skirts too short. (Note: I do not think that the Islamic faith is oppressing to women; I am merely highlighting one of the main arguments against the veil.)

Ladies, WE CAN’T HAVE IT ALL. We cannot oppose feminism whilst benefiting from the privileges that it grants us with. We cannot wax lyrical about ‘man-bashing feminists’ whilst standing on platforms that would not have been made available to us without the work of past feminisms. We cannot blame girls for their clothing choices when they are raped or sexually harassed and then be upset when we, in turn, are raped or harassed (because it happens to 1 in 5 women, so be careful just how much victim blaming you partake in). We cannot slut shame sex workers whilst our boyfriends and fathers are the ones funding the industry. We cannot moan about the impossible beauty expectations that are placed upon us (think size zero etc.), and then call somebody that we don’t like ‘a fat cow.’

We can’t do it.

I hate to say it but this is the very reason why men call us hypocrites and crazy bitches. Either we want equal rights, or we don’t. We are sexist, or we are not. We cannot have our cakes and eat them. If you don’t like feminism, then get back in the kitchen.

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