Sunday, 16 November 2014

#ELLEFeminism


Feminism is a word that I will admit was at first unattractive to me. At my old school we had a feminist club and group on Facebook. When I joined, I found that I was very scared to voice my own opinion there. It seemed that if you had an opinion that went against others, you would be shot down instantly. When boys seriously tried to joined the debate, their opinion would be discounted because they were boys, and they weren't allowed to have an opinion. Whilst I believed fully in equality, I was reluctant to call myself a feminist because I didn't feel welcomed to the debate. I felt detached from the world of feminism, even though fundamentally my beliefs were the same. 

I think my first fault is that I mistook passion for aggression. 

The aggression which so put me off many elements of feminism, was really just passion for equality. Any women can say that they have experienced sexism in some form. I can recall so many times where I have simply been walking and a man has made me feel uncomfortable. Even when I was 12, I felt scared by men when I walked past a middle aged man who told me he'd love to sleep with me. Even now as an eighteen year old, I am scared of walking by myself for that exact reason. Therefore it's no surprise that women are so passionate about their rights. Whilst my experiences of sexism, are minor, they still make me annoyed that this everyday sexism is still around even in London. 


The sad thing is that my experiences of sexism are nothing compared to other women. To girls who are not allowed to learn, girls who experience the horror of FGM and so many other struggles, my experiences are relatively minor and nothing compared. It is a misconception to somehow think that the battle for equal rights is won, it is far from won when women and girls can suffer so much just because they were born a girl. 

Emma Watson's recent 'HeforShe' campaign struck a real cord with me. Here was an actress that I grew up with, respect, and love voicing opinions I fully agreed with. The idea that we should break down the gender barriers for women and men, was refreshing. The truth is that men suffer from sexism too because they are expected to be manly, not cry and be strong. Men are not allowed to be emotional, they're expected to suppress their weak sides. A painful reminder of this is that the biggest killer of men in the UK between the age of 20 and 49 is suicide. 


I believe that male stereotypes are a big part of the problem, we need to break those down in order to really achieve equality. Men and women shouldn't be expected to act in a certain way or be anything. We should be able to make that choice for ourselves. If we want to be housewives, that doesn't make us any less of a feminist. If we wear a short dress, we can still be feminists. Whoever you are, male or female you can be a feminist. You only have to flick through this issue of Elle to see that feminists come in all shapes and forms. 


I will end this post by saying that I am a Feminist. I believe in equality for men and women, but I believe in more than that. I believe that whoever we are, we should be accepted and given the same chance in life. Whatever our religion, sex, race, sexuality, we should be able to be who we are and have the same opportunities in life.  

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24 comments

  1. Amazing post and I can relate to a lot of the things you've said too. x x

    www.beyondthevelvet.blogspot.co.uk

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  2. I agree with your words here, Victoria. Unfortunately, there are just too many 'feminists' that shoot down others opinions if it's not in agreement with theirs. Very aggressive and gave a bad rep to the whole meaning of feminism. It's refreshing to read your thought about this. xx

    Reflection of Sanity

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    Replies
    1. Yeah, I think can be quite an aggressive attitude in the feminist debate. Thanks for reading!

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  3. Lovely post and love the last paragraph, it's a nice piece by ELLE Magazine. Abi :)
    MyW0rldMyView

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  4. What a great post babe. Very inspiring! Well done :) Xx
    thefashion-junkie

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  5. beautifully written post victoria <3 i agree with everything you said! :)

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  6. you expressed so many right concepts! well done! :) xx

    claudiamedas.blogspot.com

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  7. Wow! Elle <3

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  8. lovely post :) i agree with alot of what you said here, especially when it comes to the male aspect of feminism - i believe that feminism should be promoted as a fight for equality as many people don't know this :))

    http://inkmeincelestine.blogspot.co.uk/

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  9. Hello! Nice blog!
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  10. Great post! I think this is a really important post, i am a feminist too and am part of the feminist society at my University. I too think there is a bad light/reputation of what people think a feminist/feminism is. There are a few out there that give it a bad name.
    <3
    perfectfixations.blogspot.co.uk

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  11. This is an incredible post. I used to feel a similar way about defining myself as a feminist - and today there seem to be even more negative connotations around the word. I've never bought Elle before, but I'm going to pick it up just for Emma's interview, she's an incredible woman and a real, intelligent role model.

    Milly // Mini Adventures

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    Replies
    1. Yeah it's worth picking up just for the interview :)

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