6 Jul 2016

Feminism


As a young female in today's society I have some thoughts and opinions about femininity, sexism, feminism and objectification. I also study Media at university, in which these topics are often raised throughout seminars and lectures.

I watched a video that Samantha Maria posted a few months ago now (watch it here) and I recently got thinking about it in more detail. I've actually been meaning to write this post for a while but I was trying to define my own views and figure out my own opinions on the area. This is only a personal opinion post and maybe you'll agree with me and maybe you won't. I am just sharing my thoughts with you as this is my own personal blog and I write about topics that I want to.

Defining femininity and feminism is different for everybody. Some may view it in a visual perspective, others may see it in a biological sense. Feminism could mean anything to anyone but when you google search it, this comes up:

'The advocacy of women's rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes' 

Along with other terms such as feminists, women's liberation, equal opportunities and social rights


Now, I find that the topic of feminism is something that really shouldn't be an issue in today's society yet it is the topic of conversation amongst many areas. Celebrity gossip feasts on women's looks, the media is filled with unrealistic representations of women and some people in society have a traditional point of view.

I know that traditionally men and women were bought up in a society where they were seen as completely different from one another. This was attached to jobs, household roles, clothing and physical looks. I know that in my culture, it was the norm for the male to be the breadwinner of the household and the female to be a stay at home housewife. Throughout the years this ideology began to slowly change and become more pro-feminism. Women were allowed to work and pursue a career and education.

My mum tells me stories of her life growing up and how it was unusual for a female to be studying at university. The country she was born and raised in was heavily influenced by the culture that was prominent at the time. However, when she got married and moved to England, it was still the same. Eventually about 18 years down the line, it became acceptable for her to study, work and have a job. Perhaps this was down to the culture my family are attached to but regardless of the country, it used to be the same.

As much as the thought of this angers me, it baffles me that people thought men were more capable than women. How did this ideology begin? When did this become the social norm? Why did society take so long to change this perspective? Why was misogyny accepted by cultures?

I probably became aware of this area when I became a teenager. I used to have really long hair and I cut it all off, so I had a bob cut. When I got home, my grandma would ask why I have a 'boy haircut'. I was so confused. Since when was a bob cut a 'boy haircut' - my brother didn't even have that! Also, there has been a few incidents where I've been cat called walking down the street. I've never said anything to the guy's that have done that to me because I'd rather not give them a single bit of attention. That irritated me. Why would guys think that females like that? Why would a female like that? It's not a compliment. It makes me feel like prey and the men are predators. 

Throughout a few of my teenage years I also went through a 'tomboy' phase. I loved hoodies, trainers and things that weren't 'too girly'. I still call it my tomboy phase but where did the term come from? Why is that a thing? Even I am influenced by the names and phrases that people used and still use. I got told I need to dress more feminine and wear dresses. Since when do girls have to look like a girl and act like a girl? What does it even mean to look and act 'like a girl'? 

In films, tv shows and magazines... women are the 'object of desire', 'damsel in distress' or 'pretty woman' stereotype. Women have to wear makeup, have their hair done and look perfect all the time. Women are seductive and often portrayed as unintelligent in the media. Very rarely does the media break these stereotype which makes it seem like it is okay for society to think that those perspectives can be reflected in the real world. But it really isn't. Women come in all shapes and sizes. Look different. Everyone has their own form off beautiful. Women can have any job they want. Women can be empowering. Women can do anything!

Which brings me on to my final few thoughts... I know that the media is a heavy influence of these stereotypes around how women should look and act and so on. When will the media realise that these stereotypes are ridiculous. I'm sure many of us will watch a film that has a true reflection of the real world and what women are actually like.

There are so many inspiring females out there that are business women, independent mothers, breadwinners for their family - why are those not portrayed the media? And if they are.. they need to be more ubiquitous and out there for the world to see. There have been films made about males that are successful but I have yet to see more prominence of female power amongst the media.

I am curious to hear your thoughts on femininity, feminism and feminists...
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