So there’s that f*#%ing F Word debate again. Here’s my considered stance.
I know it sort of alienates some people. I know it can be emotive. I know it makes others scoff and others squirm. Some might even see it as redundant.
And whilst I recognise the power of language, I strongly believe that there is an ever constant need for something pushing against the misogyny and sexism that pervades, to greater or lesser degrees, in all cultures. Inequality, discrimination and stereotyping doesn’t just exist in the minds of so called Feminists it’s an actual real thing. That essential ‘push’ against it is a movement. That movement needs a name.
Feminism is that movement and feminism is it’s name.
I think we can all agree and that the word has been given bad press which hasn’t helped it’s image and brand in an increasingly image and brand driven culture. Such is the power of the media when the media generally only offers one main viewpoint.
Yet if those of us who truly believe in all that the movement stands for decided to create a brand new word it would not be long before that became a ‘dirty’ word too. Until women are equally represented in the power structures within society and are give equal rights, status and value then the one who’s power it threatens will always find ways to discredit, diminish and disable it as a movement.
I believe that the reason it makes some people uncomfortable is because it insists that we look at something that is uncomfortable, alienating, emotive. And so it should be. Why?
Because it is outrageous (and no coincidence) that half of the population are unequally represented in all the negative aspects of our societies (violence, mental ill health, poverty etc.) whilst being simultaneously unequally represented in all the sectors that govern all of our lives (politics, law, economics, science & technology, media etc.) The fact that 52% of the population are penalised, by virtue of whether they are born with a penis or a vagina, is not only unfair but also ridiculous.
I think that we have a perfectly adequate word for what is essentially a demand that the feminine aspect of our species is allowed all opportunities to express itself, to grow mentally, physically and spiritually, to develop and to have equal value and status to that of the masculine.
Once we’ve achieved that then, please, by all means, go ahead and proclaim the word obsolete..
Image: By Moros (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons