I read “feminism is so overrated” in a comment discussion on a friend’s facebook post today and I’m always equally surprised when adult people say that they are not feminists..
I mean, please explain, what’s there not to be? I understand you might not be a radical and violent man-hating anarchist with hairy armpits, but that’s really really not what feminism is about just because some choose to express it that way.. if that’s your image of a feminist you have been misinformed – here, try a new definition:
First of all, are you agreeing with the fact that men and women in the world aren’t being given the the same opportunities? That many girls and women don’t get to be confident/become scientists/get an education.. or that too many boys and men aren’t given the space to express their feelings/bond with their own children/love and feel loved? Don’t you agree that this has a negative effect on us as individuals and on our societies? Don’t we need to be aware of the stereotypes and break them down in order to give each individual the same opportunity to reach his or her full potential?
“Girls should be girls, there’s a designated place for all of us in society” you say.
But when you think about it, isn’t it crazy how we expect our children to prefer certain colours, games, cartoons.. and force them into a certain type of character and personality – just based on what’s hiding beneath their diapers?
Did you know that it has been scientifically proven that mothers show infants less warmth and love if they are told they are boys? Doesn’t that make you really sad for all boys? Isn’t it sad when girls say ‘I want to be a boy so I can go to space’? Or not allowed to laugh loudly or jump in water puddles because it’s not appropriate for them? Did you know that one of the main reasons boys become violent and emotionally unstable is because of a lack of love and attention?
Have you heard that studies have shown that when girls and women get access to an education their children are proven healthier, safer and much smarter? Don’t you think this is a great benefit for all children..? For entire societies and generations to come! And isn’t it completely insane that the only thing in the way of this great solution to so many of the world’s problems is.. gender?
So, gender stereotypes and discrimination are indeed a huge obstacle to development, and boys and girls should be treated with equal love, respect and attention to individual potential, agreed?
Oh, then I guess you’re a feminist after all.. wonderful! Welcome, we’ve been waiting for you.
Here’s Emma Watson’s powerful speech for the UN the other day, and the heforshe campaign.
The name and rhetorics of which still can be discussed if we are to really talk about the continued gender categorisation, separation and power structures.. but yes, at this point, when men insist on identifying so strongly with their penis and advertisement campaigns still keep on telling us what “a real man” should drink, say and look like, it’s a necessary approach. We need these men to free themselves from the stereotypes and join the cause. Our boys need more love.
And a little bonus:
A gender neutral ad from Toys’R Us, with a baby boy caring for a doll. :) I think we’re on the right track in some parts of the world, let’s continue that way.