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Showing posts from August, 2015

LANGUAGE - Why I'm A Feminist

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A language reveals many things about the culture that created it. Much can be learnt by colloquialisms about a specific region. This is true of our own culture, of our own society. 

Without realising, the way that we speak, the words that we use convey their own sense of sexism that we are unaware of.

To fight like a girl is a negative thing. To run like a girl is a negative thing. To cry is seen as a feminine weakness. When a man is dominant, we call him assertive. When a woman is dominant, we use the word ‘bossy’. When a man works late we say he is ‘providing for his family’. When a woman works late we say ‘she is cold and distant, uncaring for her children’. When a man sleeps with lots of women, he is called a ‘stud’. When a woman sleeps with lots of people she is called a ‘slut’. No doubt there are many more words, colloquialisms, sayings that I have missed, and probably many more that I still use, without understanding the way that they taint my worldview.
May we be those that are thoughtful…

REPRESENTATION - Why I'm A Feminist

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I'm a big fan of films, especially films that make me feel something. Like love, hope or joy. Even sadness. I recently watched a TED Talk by a guy called Colin Stokes. He talked about something that I had never heard of before: the Bechdel test, created by Alison Bechdel. The test requires a film (or any piece of media) to pass 3 tests. The film must have at least 2 females with talking roles.

ENTITLEMENT - Why I'm a Feminist

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(Trigger Warning - Abuse) The other day I was on the train. As the doors closed, a man and two women stood in the walkway. They did not know each other. As the train took off to a gentle start the man dramatically fell into the two women, touching them inappropriately. He knew exactly what he was doing, so did the women. He then proceeded to verbally harass the two women who repeatedly told him to leave them alone, by this time his friends had also joined him on the train. Finally they shouted at him to leave them alone (the two women handled the situation extremely well). His final remark was ‘well when they wear clothes like that, what do they expect?’.
Entitlement is the belief that women owe men something (usually sexual).
We see this played out in a hundred fairy-tales and stories. The knight (or plumber) rescues the princess and they live happily ever after. There is never a question of whether she is attracted to him.
We continue to see this still in so many films ('How to…

OBJECT - Why I'm a Feminist

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I recently watched a brilliant vlog (video blog) about the portrayal of women in computer games. One of the many examples was the grand theft auto series. The vlogger pointed out that the gamer can go to a vending machine, buy a drink, and gain a power up / stat boost / health regen. The gamer can also go to a prostitute, sleep with the prostitute, and gain a power up / stat boost / health regen. The point the vlogger was making was ‘in the mind of the gamer, what is the difference between the drink and the woman?’.
Objectification is the term used for anything that is not an object, being used or portrayed as an object. In our society women are objectified in many ways, every day. We see it in our advertising, in our magazines, in our programmes and films. Each time a woman’s body is used as ‘eye candy’, we see objectification in action.
This stems back into our archaic history, where women were literally the property of men, objects to be bought and sold.
In the Hebrew scriptures w…

EQUAL - Why I'm a Feminist

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The other day I asked someone if they were a feminist, to which they responded ‘no, I just believe that everybody should be equal’. I think that this accounts for a large proportion of peoples understanding; that feminism is about a new sense of inequality.
In reality this is far from the truth. Feminism realises that we still live in a patriarchal society where men are at the top (albeit a much less patriarchal society than it was).
There is a reason why this matters. Margaret mead wrote ‘never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed it’s the only thing that ever has’. Society does not naturally progress towards justice and equality, it is only through people critiquing it to its very foundations that change happens. 'Change does not role in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle'*.
Someone asks ‘why should a person be able to own another person’ and a movement is started. Someone asks ‘why should…