Feminism has been all over the media recently. New books out from Everyday Sexism and The Vagenda, and Veet pulling that ad campaign following something of a twitterstorm. (It’s almost commendable how ~30seconds of footage managed to be quite so universally offensive.)
The internet is flooded with people voicing their opinions on the matter, so I was almost reluctant to weigh in. The other day, though, I made the mistake of scrolling through the comments (I know) on a Tab article (I know!). This one, if you’re interested. Predictably, the internet hate machine has once again spewed out every angry thing it could in response to a fairly inoffensive article with the word feminism in the title. Now, this article is from my own university, and presumably most of the commenters are as well. I couldn’t help but feel a bit let down, and it got me thinking. And I guess I’m self-important enough to think my opinions are interesting, so here you go:
To a lot of people feminism has become a dirty word. I have a number of friends (of different genders, sexualities and backgrounds) who agree with 95% of the principles behind the modern feminist movement, but don’t feel comfortable with the word itself. I feel like feminism could do with a re-brand.
The word itself implies it’s only for women. However, to me feminism is the fight for gender equality. Women’s rights have come a long way in the last century, so the goals have changed. It just feels like the image hasn’t. There is a deficit between men’s rights and women’s rights, but it goes without saying that it’s not JUST a case of men doing better in every single area. It’s a shame, really, that “gender equalitarianism” just doesn’t have a very good ring to it. Not really something you can fit on a bumper sticker.
That Veet ad campaign is the perfect example in my eyes. Although the backlash against it has been received as “raving feminists ruining anything fun” by some people, is there anyone that it ISN’T offensive against? The values in it seem to me to be harmful to pretty much anyone. At the risk of sounding a bit worthy, can’t we all just play nice and work towards equality together, rather than this weird battle of the sexes thing that seems to prevail at the moment?