2014: Why we still need feminism.

Saturday is International Women’s day, and I can already hear the complaints of why there isn’t an International Men’s day (There is: 19th November 2014) and just general complaints about feminism in general. From being accused of calling all men in Loughborough rapists due to this article to people questioning why there isn’t a men’s network in Loughborough (I’ll come to that later), feminism has taken a bit of a battering lately. I mean, women can vote now, we’re entitled to equal pay (even though many women still get paid less than men for doing the same job) and we can have sex before marriage without being outcast by society for doing so, so what else is there for feminism to achieve?  Well:

 

1) We are looking at feminism from a very westernized view

When people say feminism is no longer needed, they are usually looking at it from a western perspective; after all, we have the vote, can pursue higher education and have the contraceptive pill. However, there are many other cultures where women do not have these rights and entitlements. In some cultures the mutilation of a woman’s genitals is still considered completely normal, a woman driving her own car is a scandal and rape is something which brings shame on the women’s family. What does this have to do with the western world? Everything. Feminism in the western world can’t just be abandoned because women in the west have managed to make progress in society. We live in a global community where one youtube video can go viral and get 1 billion views (I’m thinking of Gangam style here, but you still get my point). This makes feminism in the western world in more vital as we try and reach women in different cultures and try aid their liberation.

 

2) People still don’t get concepts like The Women’s Network

A couple of weeks ago in the exec elections, someone on Twitter asked a question which went along the lines of whether there can be equality if there is no men’s network in Loughborough. Of course, this on the surface seems like a valid point; if women have a network then why can’t men? Unfortunately, men are not considered an underrepresented group, and as my friend said ”Loughborough itself is a men’s network”. Loughborough was one of the last union’s to have a women’s network, and if the NUS passed a men’s network in Loughborough (and hell is likely to freeze over before they do) it would be one of the first. Just like able bodied people, straight people and white people, men are not considered an underrepresented group. I mean, can you seriously imagine a straight people’s network? or an Able bodied person’s network?

 

3) It’s more than equal pay and the contraceptive pill.

Women in the UK have the vote, equal pay, the right to contraception etc etc. However, fourth wave feminism (the wave which apparently began in 2013) is concerned much less with laws, but with attitudes. Feminism in Loughborough is not something which is embraced; this is somewhat understandable because Loughborough is a sporting university with a high ratio of males. This in turn creates a more laddish culture than what is found at other universities: the mixture of sport, competition and a lot of testosterone. However, even taking this into account, it doesn’t excuse the hall chants which verge on sinister, for example the one chanted by a hall a couple of years ago which said ”Take her back to yours and fuck her till she cries”, or Fucking girls until they bleed. Or the awards in halls such as the ”Bill Mo Bike”. Some will say it’s all in fun, but if someone was singing that song about your Mum, Sister or girlfriend would it still be amusing?

 

 

Advertisements

4 thoughts on “2014: Why we still need feminism.

  1. This idea is so important. It’s the same thing with how racism still exists, so we still need to fight to end race discrimination. We need to keep fighting for equality between the sexes. If you look at the media and advertising, sexism is everywhere. It’s nice to think that things are “better” now, but things having changed enough.

  2. So to counter your points.

    1)Feminism is mostly a western thing with western women having mostly achieved equality with western men and western men complaining that western women are now taking western politics to far. Simply put what law should change in Loughborough because women in Saudia Arbia are required to wear Burka?

    Also Female infant genitalia mutilation is banned in the west, but the mutiliation of a males genitalia is still considered perfectly normal and reasonable.

    2)”men are not considered an underrepresented group”
    This is the problem. It’s not that men are actually properly represented, but they don’t have the magical label of “oppressed” so are not CONSIDERED underrepresented.

    3)Did you see the short film “Oppressed Majority”? It unintentionally makes a profound point. Males are so demonized and excluded from children’s lives that unsupervised contact with minors is used as a gender signifier. Sexist stereotypes are wrong, but to only fix the problems for the people with the correct genitalia is it’s self sexist bigotry.

    • I’m not entirely sure what point you are trying to make with your first point, could you expand?

      How are men not properly represented? They are the dominant sex. With your argument you could then say that straight people, and able bodied people are not properly represented.

      I will agree with your last point in regards to men being demonized, to a point. However, since I hit puberty, as a female I have had to endure street harassment off men. Some of it was ”simply” beeping in their car at me but others followed me down the street in their car etc etc. Of course, not all males are like this. But hence why if I was a Mother I would be more likely to warn my children of going off with ”strange men”, because of what my experience has taught me, and I’m sure many other females feel the same.

      • Why did people think that the men’s line was a good idea? Have people suggested able bodied lines or straight lines? Why not?

        That men have it better than women, that men are better represented, that men are “privileged”, that men are dominant are all incorrect assertions. Gender unlike race or ability is a set of interconnected interdependent divisions of labor that places burdens on both women and men. This doesn’t make on gender dominant or privileged.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s