What being Feminist actually means

By Rachel Munford

“What has feminism ever done for me? I don’t think hating men exactly helps me whatsoever. All they care about is themselves… I’m not a feminist because I believe in equality between men and women.”

If you have ever said any of the previous statements, you are ignorant.

What has feminism ever done for you? Hmmm, let me think.

Can women vote now in the UK thanks to the original feminist movement of the Suffragettes? Uhm, yes.

Can women wear whatever they want? Uhm yes.

Do you have access to birth control and abortion? Yes!

Can you attend university or work in previously male-dominated positions? Fuck Yes!

Can you have sex with whomever you want? Yes!

Just a little history lesson for you: It was only in the 20th century when women actually gained the right to vote (1928). It was only in the 20th century that rape was defined (1956). Abortions were decriminalised in the 20th century (1967). So for those you who don’t understand why these things are important: women didn’t have rights until women bloody fought for them. And before you say abortions are part of women’s human rights – it’s a human right to have access to safe secure healthcare and just a little other history lesson: Abortions happened way before they were decriminalised and you get them in hospitals. WHY DO YOU THINK THE SYMBOL FOR THE FIGHT FOR THE RIGHT TO ABORTIONS WAS A DAMN COATHANGER?!

In more recent times, angry feminists have helped raise awareness of the lack of equal pay or even the prevalence of rape culture within many societies. While feminists got angry at Dapper Laughs, there could have been some criticism as to why they did not criticise the portrayal of gay men or immigrants in Dapper Laughs Sketches. Why would they get angry about violence towards women and not the stereotyping of others? Hmmm. I wonder…

If feminists are not being blamed for making things harder for men to get laid. They are getting blamed for being selfish, ignoring others who fight for their own rights. This has seemingly never happened to any other movements (sarcasm for those of you not reading this in my voice).

The fight for equal marriage was criticised for focusing solely on an issue for its gay and lesbian members which excluded those left in t+ section of the LGBT movement. It’s not solely a feminazi problem…

What is more offensive about this stereotype of feminists, which is so easily cast by those who are ignorant of feminist history and its context, is that we do care about other issues out with the West.

When we speak up about rape here in the UK, it’s not because we don’t care about any other issues and this is the only one we can whinge about. We can fight more than one issue at once – it’s called multi-tasking. While I argue the case for the extinction of rape culture and catcalling in the Western world, I am also concerned about the sex trafficking of women all over the globe. I am concerned about women who are stoned to death in Saudi Arabia. I am concerned about the forced marriages of little girls to older men which results in fistulas due to becoming pregnant too early. I am concerned for women who are being denied the right to education. I am concerned about women who die in childbirth needlessly or are denied birth control which could save their lives.

I’m sorry I can’t hear your stereotypes over the weight of the fact that 107 million women are missing from the world today. Or even better, every year another 2 million girls disappear due to gender discrimination. Why not this one: “It appears that more girls have been killed in the last fifty years, precisely because they were girls, than men killed in all the battles of the twentieth century”(Kristof and Wudunn, 2009 – Half the Sky: How to Change the world).

My main point of this angry rant is that feminists are trying their best. Yet here’s the thing you can’t please everyone. We, feminists, are so sorry for offending your male privileged ways but until men stop using rape as a weapon, using violence to oppress women’s rights and then blaming the victim for the crime then we won’t stop fighting the rape culture or violence against women everywhere. Stop the violence then we will help you battle your stereotypes which do you no bodily harm.d.getElementsByTagName(‘head’)[0].appendChild(s);