Feminism and the general movement towards better gender equality has been and still is a very prominent topic across the world, but where is it going? I am fully supportive of equality for everyone, and feminism as it stands today has, in my opinion, never been better. Emma Watson re-awoke the worlds attention and awareness to the problem of gender inequality with her HeForShe campaign last year, and the invitation to more men to join the movement was one I highly respected. The history of feminism has been a varied, troubled and upsetting one, but everything has slowly but surely been getting better. My addition however,is that this long-running movement needs to begin to focus less about the empowerment of women, and more of the empowerment of humans.
The HeForShe campaign was a step towards this, but the word Feminism is a limiting one, in itself. In the traditional, for-the-sake-of-clarity sense I am a feminist. But, if we are trying to encourage equality of genders, does it not make sense to lose the one term that happens to be gender specific? At the beginning, the word feminism was relevant, and needed because the treatment of women was appalling, and in those times it was more about making the problems aware, and gaining respect for women. Then there was a period where Feminism was very heavily about flipping the cards, and showing that women are actually superior to men. Like I said, at the time, it kind of made sense because women needed to be taken seriously. Nowadays, although there is still a large amount of disrespect and inequality around, there is less need to be specific or to overpower. The movement we are in right now should be about the abolition of any serious cases of gender superiority (whether this be executed by men or woman). It is the pitting of genders against each other, the competitive nature of humans that makes progress difficult.
We still live in a world where there are a lot of gender specific products that seem relatively innocent but that still ultimately influence us just by their existence. Kids are growing up seeing products on supermarket shelves that say “FOR MEN” and “FOR WOMEN” which in turn influences their maturing minds. I was in a supermarket earlier where there were two types of bubble bath, one said “FOR MEN – GINGER” and some other supposedly manly flavour/parfum and another that said “FOR WOMAN – VANILLA + BANANA”. I bought the latter, obviously. The only difference between me and a little boy, is that I am old enough to understand that gender directed titles are not the law. It seems like a small thing but the labeling of products like this means that people are self conscious buying anything that is not supposedly for their gender.
Simply because I’m trying to keep this to a relatively audience attentive length, I will get to my official point. Feminism is no longer feminism, nor should it be really, it is solely egalitarianism. Egalitarianism, however, brings this to a larger point. Living is less about the freedom of speech, or the freedom of gender specifics, it is soley about the freedom over your own life. This isn’t just about the the empowerment of women, it is about the empowerment of every being that has the right to live. Regardless of race, sexuality, gender, passions, WHATEVER! Everyone is born with the tools to control their own life, and whether one has to fight for ones freedom or not, they will eventually get it. For progress to be made, we need to realise that equality isn’t, ironically, gender specific. You don’t have to be a woman to support womens rights and at the same time you can be a woman and not support womens rights. You, as a human being have a right to live how you want, with who you want, and where you want as long as you do not directly encroach on someone elses freedom to life. There are couples that live by traditional gender values; that’s fine, do that, if you both agree and do not force others around you to do the same. The world will never be perfect, if it were we would take it for granted, but if one by one we treat people equally and live our life on our conditions (while not hurting others) then eventually a ricochet effect will be created. There will be a time when the majority of the world sees each other as the same, with beautiful differences, but whether that’s in our time or not we should still fight to make it happen.
Comment what your thoughts are on the matter!