Tomorrow is International Women’s day, a global day across the whole world that celebrates the economic, political and social achievements of women. In honor of this day I wanted to reflect upon the most significant feminist campaigns over the last few years.
It was only in the past few years that I came to terms with the meaning of feminism and what being a feminist really means. However with all this media attention towards feminism it has inevitably created a lot of backlash towards the word feminism itself. It has created controversy because many believe that being a feminist means hating men, when actually the true definition is the social, political and economical equality of the sexes. Women have fought for many years for equality and the feminist movement has really amplified the awareness and therefore made a real impact.
When Beyonce’s song Flawless was released in late 2013, it brought to light a significant Ted Talk by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie titled We Should All Be Feminists. During her speech she highlights the inequality between males and females and how women are treated with less respect as they aren’t taken seriously in situations such as the workplace. “You should aim to be successful but not too successful” is what women are told. It is still a known fact that women are paid less than men in many jobs and women aren’t taken as seriously purely because they are a woman. Chimamanda also talks about competition in her speech, that “we raise girls to see each other as competitors”.
Taylor Swift once said “One thing I do believe as a feminist is that in order for us to have gender equality we have to stop making it a girl fight, and we have to stop being so interested in seeing girls trying to tear each other down. It has to be more about cheering each other on, as women.” This is something I wholeheartedly agree with, feminism is about supporting each other as women in order to receive equality.
Many advertisers such as Always took their own perspective on feminism, and drew attention to why women aren’t taken as seriously. In their advert Like A Girl, which can be found here, the advert shows how older men and women perceive “like a girl” to be an insult. Such as “run like a girl” or “throw like a girl” suggesting that girls are weaker and that it would be humiliating to be told you run like a girl. Whereas when they asked the young ten year old girl to run like a girl, she ran as fast as she could. Proving that doing anything “like a girl” isn’t something to be ashamed of, it should mean amazing things and should be something to be proud of.
The most significant moment for me in terms of the feminist movement was Emma Watson’s UN speech in conjunction with the #HeForShe campaign. Emma Watson is an intelligent, strong and ambitious woman who uses her voice to be an advocate for girls education. She emphasises on equality and gender sterotyping, talking about how her female friends dropped out of sports teams at age 15 because they didn’t want to appear muscly and at 18 her male friends were unable to express their feelings. She also talks about the people across the world affected by gender inequality such as many girls rejected the right to an education because they are not male.
In the past year we have seen a huge increase in awareness for gender equality, but there is still so much that needs to change. Tomorrow Emma Watson is going to be holding a live Q&A about gender equality, streamed live on facebook at 1pm on Sunday the 8th of March.
This is just one of the many events taking place for International Women’s day, have a look online and see what else is happening all over the world and even in your local area.
Tomorrow is for celebrating the success of strong, ambitious and intelligent women, breaking gender stereotypes and seeking change for gender equality.