You can always count on the International Women’s Day to bring feminism to focus… and endless discussions on its negative connotation.
I often hear comments, from both women and men, how they are into defending human rights but they wouldn’t call themselves a feminist. It’s a dirty word, it seems. The resistance to it dates way back to resistance to women having voting rights . That seem silly today, but nevertheless negative sentiment sticks. Based on the findings of Havas Group’s 2017 survey of more than 12,000 people in 32 countries, less than a third of women (31%) and 17% of men surveyed consider themselves feminists.
Even if you maybe don’t want to be called a ‘feminist’ (god forbid), you ARE one if:
You think the violence against women is a crime
Sad facts about violence against women imply which position in the global society women still have. For example:
It is estimated that 35 percent of women worldwide have experienced either physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence or sexual violence by a non-partner at some point in their lives. However, some national studies show that up to 70 percent of women have experienced physical and/or sexual violence from an intimate partner in their lifetime. (http://www.unwomen.org/en/what-we-do/ending-violence-against-women/facts-and-figures)
If we mind this universal context where a woman is treated and predefined as weak, sensitive and emotional other who should be treated with violence when ‘’she is not good and submissive with her man”, we are feminists. We are rejecting this concept of injustice, pain, and slavery against the other because we are feminists.
So, do you think the violence against women is a crime?
Yes? Ok, you are feminist.
You believe in economic equality
How women and men can be equal human beings with equal chances and opportunities when women’s bosses, chiefs, presidents are mostly men? How can we talk about gender equality in the world where women will be paid less than her male colleague for the same work?
Globally, women are paid less than men. Women in most countries earn on average only 60 to 75 percent of men’s wages. (http://www.unwomen.org/en/what-we-do/economic-empowerment/facts-and-figures)
So, if you don’t believe in the context where women own just 1% of world property, you are feminist.
If you are not accepting an unfair redistribution of economic resources, you are feminist.
If you do not believe in the concept of women’s economic dependence on men, you are a fabulous feminist.
3. You don’t accept double morality on sex
I need to notice how gender-based violence and economic (un)power of women are one of the million direct consequences of unequal social treatment of women and men.
What do I think? I am pretty sure how everybody in our Millennial generation knows about some meme or ilustration deconstructing patriarchal myth about ‘chaste’ and ‘moral’ woman and ‘free’ and ‘experienced’ man.
So, if you believe in sexual freedom, you are feminist.
If you are against double standards, gender and sexuality stereotypes, you are feminist.
If you are refusing the violent concept of sexualization of women and girls, you are feminist.
If you are raising your voice against sexual slavery, human trafficking and the patriarchal concept of slut and rape, you are feminist.
4. You know there is no proper political emancipation without 1, 2 and 3
The political emancipation as a measure of feminist spirit, for now, is relative. For instance, in both Albania and Serbia there is 30% quota for election lists and therefore guaranteed participation in parliaments for less-represented gender. But can we truly say we are living in equal societies although gender equality indexes are not poor?
Political emancipation represents the ultimate instance of feminist ideal, which aims to crown their social equality and economic independence. More precisely, the political emancipation of women and the question of their civic status was, is and always will be (depending on the context) the most directly conditioned by the social and economic position of women in a community.
So, if you mostly agree to this points, congratulations! – for sure, you are a feminist.
Remember, feminism benefits everyone. It’s about equality. It’s about human decency.
Happy Women’s Day!
Happy Women’s Future!