To be a feminist.

I think everyone should be a feminist.

Wait, before you scoff and dismiss my statement, let me make it clear what form of feminism I am talking about. No, I am absolutely not referring to the ‘femenazis’, or that group of women that you see on the evening news blue in the face screaming obscenities at some unsuspecting man. No, I am not talking about the minority of feminists who despise the male gender to the extent that they want more power than their male counterpart. No, I am definitely not mentioning those ‘feminists’ who preach female empowerment but also slag off Stacey for wearing a slutty skirt to work last week.

So, what form of feminism am I talking about? Let’s look at the history of the movement within the UK. 1918: The first select group of women were granted the vote, and feminism spread like wildfire within society, women were finding their vote. Next, there was the Women’s Lib movement, famously known for the Dagenham Ford factory strike, which was later attributed for the passing of the equal pay act in 1968 (note that women have only been granted the same pay as their male counterpart for the last 60 years!). The Women’s Lib movement challenged previous ideas around equality in marriage and the workplace, sex, sexuality and violence women faced within society. Their fights to challenge the sexist system led to the Sex Discrimination act of 1975, essentially this meant that women couldn’t be discriminated against just because they were a woman. Surely therefore, if women have overcome all this, then there is no form of feminism left in the 21st century that isn’t advocating solely for equality? If women have fought all that, then aren’t modern feminists just campaigning for more power than men?

NO! dear lord, NO! the pure joy it would bring me to be able to sit here and agree with you. If only I could write an article on the equality women have. But, in the 21st century, the world is still as backwards as ever, meaning the existence of feminism is absolutely essential to move forwards as a human race. If 58 % of the worlds population are being marginalised in a man’s world, how on earth will we progress past the stage we are now? We could look at the subtle sexism stitched into the seams of society, for example the fact that women have to pay 5% VAT on tampons until 31.12.20 because the government classify them as a ‘non-essential luxury items. However, in 2006 condoms were stripped of this ‘luxury items’ labelled and are now classified as essential. Don’t be mistaken, I’m all for safe sex, but there is a difference between what we have choice in and what we a forced into due to out XX chromosomes.

Or we can look at explicit blatant sexism. Those 104 countries that ban women from doing certain jobs. The 46 countries that off no asylum or legal aid to women enduring domestic abuse. The 10 countries that legalise a man raping his wife. The 12 states of America with bans on abortion. The 6 countries where a woman’s voice does not have the same legal weight as a man. The 7 states in America where literal rapists can fight for custody of that child. If that’s not enough, how about Egypt where the sentence for honour killing is less than the sentence for murder. Let’s momentarily disregard the deep-rooted sexist issues in our society and focus on theses statistic. Countries are blatantly discriminating against their female population without being challenged. As human beings we cannot allow our mothers, daughters, sisters, wives, girlfriends and friends to suffer at the hands of a man because they were born a woman.

We need to be feminists because there is no equality. We. Are. Not. Equal. We need to be feminists to fight for women who don’t have a voice of their own. We need to fight not for women, but for basic and fundamental people. To be a feminist does not make you a radical angry blue-haired female with 7 cats. To be a feminist makes you a compassionate human being with a minimal set of morals. To be a feminist makes you a good human.

So are you a feminist?