Archive for December, 2015

Do we need feminism? Real notions of feminism in the world today.Blog by Natalie Brown


In a seemingly progressive society of equality in the West, where women are long-liberated from the old stereotypes of the soft and gentle homemaker and caregiver and freed from the private sphere of life and into the public, entering into modern society as doctors, lawyers, teachers as fully-fledged members of the ‘real’ world, we hear the question silently echoed all around; ‘do we really need feminism today?’
The media could argue for us that gender equality has reached its peak in today’s society: transsexuals such as Ri – ri Paul and Panti Bliss launch themselves into the public eye to champion the liberation of transgender and transsexual identity, expanding and freeing our notions of what gender means. Feminists such as Caitlyn Moran demonstrate modern day feminism to a public audience, celebrating the strength of feminism in today’s society. Public figures such as Emma Watson stand up for young people in a bid to achieve equality for women and for men, from a platform as large as the UN to do so. The representation of feminism in context of modern society certainly seems strong.
And yet there still seems to exist some age-old myths surrounding what people understand by the term feminism, and even in today’s society the word still attracts an element of controversy. The term is still a ‘dirty’ word to some, perhaps building on the past stereotype of man-hating women in unattractive, baggy clothing, whom men fear and women refuse to identify with. The Woman’s Liberation Movement answer to this, and are a group of women whose beliefs are rooted in defining themselves outside of the identities of motherhood, wives and daughters, giving women economic independence and political equality in order to discover who they truly are. This could be misconstrued as being anti-men, their desire to want to live in a space that is not occupied by men, but is really an anti-patriarchy, attempting to create a way in which all people can live together harmoniously and equally.
Which brings the question; why is there still a need to achieve equality when seemingly, women have access to, and operate within all the domains men do, as well as become homemakers and child rearers if they choose?
We see activism everywhere: The Million Women Rise brings large numbers of women together in a bid for women’s right to live free from violence and the fear of being attacked, reminding us that this issue is on-going in the UK, with one in four women experiencing domestic violence in her life. The Young British Women’s organisations’ ‘Reclaim the F-Word’ shows contemporary feminists fighting back against the media speaking out negatively against feminism, and claim they are being motivated by the fact it is still ‘highly necessary’ in today’s society.
The fact that women still identify with feminism, fighting causes that speak out for the need for equality in all aspects, still shows the need for feminism in the world today. In an ever-changing and expanding world where we are re-learning our notions of what gender means, and still discovering issues of inequality, one could argue the voice of feminism is still very much needed today, by all.