Five | Why I am a Feminist

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Ever since I can remember I have always had a good sense for injustice. Even in school I was baffled by the gender divide, how boys were allowed to have a choice between football or gymnastics, but we were just given the choice of gymastics and maybe sometimes dance. How on 'fun Fridays' the Friday before we broke up for the summer we were allowed to bring in any toy we wanted and I brought in my gender neutral animal hospital play set and was frowned at by the teacher when boys came over and played with my toy. It got worse in secondary school, I remember being in guidance class and being split up, boys went into another room to talk about 'boy' things and girls stayed in the classroom to talk about periods. In science one day boys were going round and poking pens up the holes of the stools we were sitting on, I told the teacher I had basically been sexually assaulted and the teacher replied 'aw boys will be boys Ciara'

I think I may have to thank my parents, especially my Mum for my sense of gender injustice. She always encouraged me to be able to choose, I wasn't a tom boy but I enjoyed boys activities and boys toys, but I also took part in ballet lessons. I read many books as a child about the divide between genders, especially The Famous Five and I can remember my Mum telling me it was wrong the way the boys and girls were portrayed and it has change a lot since then, but I really think that some people still don't believe this.

When I tell people I am a Feminist I normally get eye rolls or a back handed comment such as 'oh good for you' kind of like when I tell people I'm a vegetarian even though it's a completely different thing altogether. Some people are supportive however and agree with my views on gender in-equality and to be honest many of my friends that do actually agree with me are boys. I just can't get my head around people that believe we don't need feminism anymore, that it's an 'old concept' when The Suffragettes won the battle for the women's vote in Britain that was the end of feminism for the, we don't seem to need it anymore; oh really ?! So when you are walking down the street and get cat called or your going into a nightclub and you get your arse grabbed by a stranger you just believe that's normal behavior? Well I would say in your own words 'that's good for you' but it's certainly not good for me.

We need Feminism on a day to day basis, you only have to look down the road to find a sexist advertisement for beer or burgers. And people believe that this is harmless, that it doesn't effect them that sexism on both sides has just become a social norm and that makes me sad. The fact that Feminism is still not taught in schools and the message 'don't get raped' instead of 'don't rape' is forever being given by the police and the NHS. In Universities there are Freshers games that exist such as 'sharking' where a higher year student tries to sleep with as many fresher girls as he can or initiations where girls are forced to take their clothes off in front of crowds of people.

*I've just realised that I am being incredibly girl biased during this post and I honestly don't mean to be, men get exactly the same amount of stick for their gender just the same as women do, examples are just easier to find when concerning women, which is sad in itself.*

Because of this new rise of sexism there has also been a new rise to feminism too, which is really great to see people sticking up for their gender and thinking 'hang on here, what you've just done or said to me isn't right' This new wave of feminism also seems open to the idea of equality, when people complain about feminists they will tend to focus on the fact that they don't think we want equality, no no we want women to be better than men, to rule over men and execute them all jUST CAUSE WE ALL HATE MEN SO MUCH #FEMINAZI #MENRSCUM etc. But this is completely naive and a terrible view point to have on feminism, it's also rather dangerous to think that one of the strongest human rights movements is so hateful. Us feminists like men who respect our gender and men like women who respect theirs, that's what it should be, in an ideal world there would be harmony and respect on both sides, but it's going to be a long battle.When men announce they are feminists, they are laughed at and told they can't be one, but you can men, you honestly can. If you want equality for your gender then you are a feminist. Some of the best people I know are male and a feminist, don't let the name put you off. I remember Gareth telling me that he is a feminist but he wants to change the name to something like 'equalist' which makes sense but it just can't be done because of the reputation it has built up over many years, just because it is the same name doesn't mean it stands for the same thing, times change and Feminism isn't what it used to be anymore it's now aiming for a much greater goal.

Here is a list of my favourite modern feminists of all time and also some feminist blogs I think you should follow because they're really changing things unlike me who is just speaking out.

Miriam González Durántez - yes she is Nick Clegg's wife and if many people had their way she would be running the country because she's amazing and so influential, I urge you all to look at the amazing things she has done for women everywhere. I really do think she is completely overshadowed by her idiotic husband and his idiotic apologies, she's got her head screwed on this lady. 

- Emma Watson - How ca I do a blog post about feminism and not include Emma Watson, the things she has done for the HeforShe campaign has gotten so many people to turn their heads around and say 'omg yes this is an actual issue we should be dealing with' I love it when celebrities use their fame for good and change things, it makes me a little happier inside. 

- Oprah Winfrey - Yes Oprah! How can you not be on this list? Her influence in America about gender equality is so powerful and she has gone on to create a Leadership Academy for Girls. She is such a wise person who has not let her fame rise to her head because of the environment she started out in, a very influential woman. 

- Angelina Jolie - She has been the face of breast cancer bravery for women and has allowed women to speak out about their experiences with it, she also has changed how women are perceived on film sets and is planning to make a film with all strong female characters in, she's just an all round good egg. 

- Catsstello - or Tara to be short she is a very influential blogger and has already changed things by campaigning  against the 'Beach Body Ready Protein World Campaign' by organising a huge photo shoot of comfortable women in bikinis with every kind of body, challenging the whole message that Protein World is trying to give. 

There are many, many more people that influence me in Feminism but this would literally turn into a book so lets stop there. 

I hope this post has been informational and intriguing and I hope you have taken just one thing from this even if you already are a feminist or if you are considering whether you are, the message I am trying to give is that you really, really should be. I hope I have got my point across in a respectful way but if you feel like I have gone about this the wrong way or I have missed important points then please let me know. 



  1. yes this was so good. thanks for sharing and feminism always!! xx

    1. Thank you so much and YES will always agree!

  2. Vegetarian feminist. Oh yeah, I relate with you on that one. Much eye rolling & pestering with questions that are actually very simple. Equality. Cruelty free. It's an easy choice. :]

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    1. Brilliant! And I know right, nearly every single day I get an ignorant comment on subjects that are so easy to get your head around! And yes it really is, thank you so much!