Weekly report of a young feminist #11: Is it she or he? Is the person ugly, beautiful, worthless, successful, poor, rich, hopeless, homeless, ordinary?
The idea for this blog post surprisingly came from Instagram, which normally serves as a source of depression or self-doubts. However, in this case, the well-known social media platform led me to conscious recognition of different forms of feminist activism. I always thought of feminism as of something so strict, so serious that one has to utterly and constantly remind the gender inequality to others. Shortly after I read the book by famous feminist critic Camille Paglia who is claiming that contemporary feminism attacks the natural adolescence of young people and hinder them from discovering sexuality, I realized the diversity of activism. In one example she explains how MeToo movement, accompanied by many rape allegations, is reshaping the status of women so they are portrayed as weak, as constant preys but they should be encouraged in their self-sufficiency instead. Meaning that, a young woman should not consider some forms of seduction as unacceptable behaviour but on the contrary should learn how to independently defend herself. This strength, according to her, will ensure the safe world for women because they’ll no longer be perceived as potential victims anymore. If you ask about my opinion, I partly disagree. Yes, I think that we should remind young girls and especially young boys that we’re equal, therefore boys can’t have girls whenever they feel like it. And on the other hand, girls don’t have to prosecute boys whenever they feel threatened. However, in this climate, I think that movements or communities such as MeToo are necessary for the society to get rid of rotten apples and perhaps can subsequently move forward to the age when men don’t call women sluts only because of the miniskirt they’re wearing.
Following the primary thought, which is somehow interconnected with the book, certain feminists don’t pinpoint the bad aspects of being a woman but rather celebrate femininity in its every shape. I would compare it to looking at half-full glass, which occurs to be beneficial approach. We, women, tend to underestimate ourselves and that’s the fundamental mindset here. Some experts actually state that women naturally compare themselves with other women disproportionally more than men and so, showing the beauty in woman’s body and soul might generate more happiness than lobbying for equal pays. I didn’t understand this notion for a long time and I imagined these girls to be lacking the basis of feminism and to simplify thing to the extent when nothing is helpful anymore. I’ll give you one very vivid instance. I thought that a girl who contributes to Czech Vogue with her monthly column (while she is based in Paris), cannot be more than a rich and short-sighted beauty. So naturally, I came up with million reasons why her texts aren’t good enough, aren’t feminist enough, aren’t clever enough. Do you want to know why? Because I thought she doesn’t represent feminism enough, her writing is not good enough, and most importantly, because I compared myself to her. After a while I realized that there is no need for comparison because the world is big enough to absorb as many feminists as human beings. Moreover, I realized that there isn’t just one way of representing feminism. Celebrating women’s femininity is empowering and adds extra value to someone’s identity.
Long story short, when you come across anyone who is saying that women are powerful and independent, just go with it. To elaborate on a title, a feminist can be whoever as long as he/she is proud of it. We usually have prejudices in our heads, as I had too about the “educated feminists”, until I realized it’s not about the education but rather about the advocacy of cause. Now, I’m a fond of young, beautiful and simultaneously smart girls who represent a certain wave of feminism. Indeed, they’re targeting different audience which raises the chances of success in reaching the joint goal which seems to be a place without gender-based violence and with equal wages. And surely, anyone can look like a feminist, it’s just the matter of preferences.