9 March 2015

By Lauren E. White

What being a feminist really means

Since yesterday was International Women’s Day, there was only one theme that I could give to today’s column and it had to be feminism.

After watching Emma Watson’s He For She live Q&A in celebration of IWD and a really thought-provoking conversation with one of my peers last Friday, I thought that this week’s column should be informative. It seems that there is so much confusion surrounding the term ‘feminist’ and so many people are completely misunderstanding those of us who are openly feminists.

Being a feminist does not mean we hate men. Being a feminist does not mean we want to become superior. Being a feminist does not mean that we want to be different to men. I will tell you what being a feminist means and it means that we want to be equal. We want to be equal with our male colleagues, our male friends and our male leaders. Women do not want to become a superior gender, we want to become an equal gender.

Now many of you may be saying that women are equal and that we have got the right to vote, work and the right to do whatever we want. Many of you may say that equal rights for women are already here and that we live in Great Britain where gender equality is not an issue.

Well, gender equality is an issue – even in Great Britain. 77 percent of our Parliament is made up of males. We have a 17.5 percent gender pay gap in this country meaning that, on average, women get paid £5,000 less than their male colleagues. As well as this, around 44 percent of women have experienced either physical or sexual violence since they were just 15-years-old.

Are us feminists really so out-of-order because we see that this shocking reality of gender inequality is wrong? Are we really that ‘stupid’ and ‘oblivious’ to what we supposedly ‘already have’?

So next time you bash feminists, remember that we are standing for equal rights, for equality. We are standing for women to be paid the same as men. We are standing for women to become equal. There is no ‘man hating’ involved in this. In fact, there is no hate what-so-ever. Being a feminist is not a disease, being a feminist is a cure.

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