“Feminist:a person who believes in the social, economic and political equality of the sexes”. ~Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Yesterday I spent my day in bed, doing absolutely nothing besides watching Harry Potter, eating chocolate and drinking coffee. And it felt amazing. But I also watched a movie called Thelma &Louise. So old school of me, right?
And while watching this great movie, about two bad-ass women, few ideas came to my mind. First one was obviously, that I need to figure out a way to make my overdue road trip around America happen. But also, I had this nagging feeling about feminism and how girls are portrayed in the society today.
Of course, people that live in a civilised country and were also born in a modern society, will jump up and say, but women are actually treated as equal – look at all this women in leading roles, and all these women doing whatever they want.
I do not deny that there has been progress made in our society.. But has it really?
I’m talking now of course, about the over-sexualisation of girls in the media. I recently watched this TedX talk on Morality and in the talk, Sam Harris discusses about how different cultures portray women, and how different cultures have different expectations of women.
And it gets to the point where this guy makes a comparison between how women in the Western cultures are portrayed, and how Muslim women have to act and how not to act.
The problem with gender is that it prescribes how we should be rather than recognising how we are. ~Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
And obviously, because of superiority, we will say that Muslim women have no freedom, they cannot decide anything for themselves and they have to cover their bodies. And that’s all very bad and negative, right??
But in our Western society – we advise girls how to get into shape, how to get the hot body, how to feel great in their skin.And they can only do that if they buy the products and if they follow the strict regime imposed by the society. If they do not fit the category, they cannot be beautiful, they cannot feel good about themselves and they cannot for any reason, feel like a million bucks if they do not achieve those standards that were shoved down their throats.
And then, years or months later, we put them to shame, because they developed eating disorders and they became obsessive about how they look. Instead of helping them feel empowered, we put girls to shame, because they tried to achieve the standards that we obliged them to follow in the first place.
And I ask myself … How is that not negative? When did all became so wrong? When did we forgot that we are all human beings and that we were created to be different?
Of course there is still sexism going on in our modern society. And racism, and bullying. And obviously, there is feminism too.And organisations that fight for equality. Some people actually decided to step up for those ones that cannot do it for themselves.
But we have a long way to go, and that is because most of us, in our daily lives, when we get put in this kinds of situations, we choose to turn our heads or pretend we didn’t noticed. But they do happen. People that do it, they just get better at masking it.
But if there is one thing that I’ve learnt from this wonderful journey called life, is that if I do not decide to speak up, to try and make a change, no one will do it.
I am a feminist because I choose to speak my mind, bear children, demand to be paid the same as men, kick ass and paint my nails pink.
I am a girl and I like to express myself. I want to be able to do what I want. I want to do a job that I want, not the one that I’m expected to do.
I am a feminist because you love labels. But in my head and heart, I am only a human being who’s asking for the right to be whoever the heck she wants to be.
This talk always inspires me: