Am I a feminist?

Lately, I’ve trawled YouTube and have been watching videos on different women and how they view feminism. A number of them classify themselves as “anti – feminist” or neither anti or pro feminist. Here are just some of the videos I’ve watched lately.

Content warning: coarse language

OK, that’s one of the videos I’ve seen in the past couple of weeks. I have seen others, but haven’t found them (note to self – keep titles of YouTube videos in mind or written down!).

Anyway, just trawling through the videos just then (there are MANY both pro and anti feminist videos out there), a question came to me – am I a feminist?

Well, it depends what you mean by “feminist”. These days, I believe the term has been hijacked by social justice warriors that have made women in particular run from the label. When you have “feminists” like Clementine Ford and Van Badham, I, like other Millennials want to run away from the label faster than you can say “I am woman”. Also, there are a lot of myths that have plagued feminism, like the 1 in 5 rape statistic in America that is apparently debunked:

 

Closer to home, feminists have been accused of pursuing trivial causes, while ignoring the suffering of women in the Middle East and Africa under Islamic rule. Feminists have also been accused of ignoring the domestic violence epidemic in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, particularly in the Northern Territory. To be fair to feminists, sites like Mamamia have reported on DV in ATSI communities, but it has been few and far in between from what I’ve seen, which, if I’m looking properly, is disappointing. Then again, it’s not hard to do. I’ve only written about the issue once. Then, there’s the whole political correctness overkill, trigger warnings overkill, etc, etc. Yep, it’s turned into a bit of an unfunny joke, really.

 

However, there are feminist blogs I do read and I do agree with some of the sentiments. Sites like Ravishly are very inclusive and do give voice to women of colour, as well as Caucasian women, including many LGBTQ+ women. I do have respect for how they allow women to talk about different struggles such as mental illness. Also, again, closer to home, last week, in light of disability awareness, Mamamia did a great job giving voices to women affected by a physical disability or looking after a grown child with a disability. Despite the criticisms I’ve made toward publisher, Mia Freedman, I do admire her for her advocacy a number of causes, many of which her and the rest of the Mamamia team do very well.

So, feminist publications do a good job in raising awareness about issues. But, am I a feminist?

To be honest, I’m actually not sure. I mean, I do write and care about women’s rights, yet, I’m critical of modern day feminism. Then again, I can see that, without going to the fringes, feminists can do good. I haven’t been actively involved in feminist activism or anything (I used to get quite involved on – line, but not anymore). I think if you take away the blown up statistics, the seeming exclusion of minorities, especially the plight of ATSI women, hypocrisy, etc, then I guess you could say, yeah, I am a feminist. It’s not perfect by any means, and like I said, there are people that give it a bad name, but I don’t think the overall cause in and of itself isn’t bad. If we, including me, as feminist can drop the double – standards, triviality and stand up for all women, then I think feminism can be made even better.

 

What are you? Feminist? Anti – feminist or something else? Who are feminists past or present that you respect?

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Feminism and Able – ism In The Media

I was watching “Sunrise” this morning and they had a story about fashion items that can cause health concerns, such as corsets, skinny jeans and high – heel shoes. During the segment, co – host, Sam Armytage made a comment that their boss didn’t allow her, Natalie Barr or any of the other female journalists wear flat shoes during work.

Now, the potential health effects on high – heels, especially stilettos are well – known. Foot deformities, weakened ankles and the risk of broken bones are some of the well – known risks of prolonged stiletto wearing, especially over a long period of time. What I want to talk about is women, who can’t wear stilettos safely because of disability.

To me, this is just a perfect example of how, yet again, disabled women, particularly those with physical disabilities are automatically left out. People with a disability are already over – represented in unemployment statistics in Australia, with an estimated one in five people with a disability unemployed, as compared to the national average of six percent.

In general, I find the media in Australia hypocritical when it comes to equality. On one hand, they get on their high horses, even interview people who are marginalised and encourage employers, etc to give them a go, but what about the media outlets themselves? All media personalities are able – bodied! Not that it’s bad that journalists are able – bodied. All power to them, but where is the diversity that they so often go on about? Or, to be perfectly blunt, do they have the same prejudices against people with a disability that many, if not most, people have? I think I know the answer to that, unfortunately.