Welcome to part 2 in the ‘F is for Feminism’ series. As I sat down to write this post I realised that I have had and heard so many different experiences that I wish to share, so this will be the second part in a longer series. Feminism is so much more important than many people realise and I want to give it as much attention as I possibly can. In saying that I would like to say that I am no expert and what I am sharing with you are personal opinions and experiences that are either my own or belong to a friend. The aim of this blog post is to recognise the intrinsic inequality in our society and to highlight to those who, perhaps do not entirely believe in the feminist movement, how ridiculous our double standards can be.
As summer approaches in the UK, I have started to see more and more men walking around with no shirts on, either along the beach, or in beach side areas, and this seems very normal to me. A beautiful friend back home recently made a comment that I think is something that many of us wouldn’t really recognise. He said something along the lines of, ‘Feminism is women not having to justify themselves.’ He explained that feminism is women being able to choose to take their shirts off in hot weather or at the beach and to not have eyes directly on them; to not have passersby questioning why they are choosing to disrobe. He explained that instead of this questioning, there should be a blanket understanding of, ‘hey it’s warm and she is too hot to be wearing all the clothes she has on just like all the guys who are walking around topless.’ We are all experiencing the same weather, so why is there different standards for men and women? These double standards are part of the reason that gender equality has not yet been reached; we can’t hold different standards to men and women and expect women to feel equal. Now, I identify as a hard-core feminist and, even to me, seeing a bunch of women walking around topless seems like a stretch, but why is that? Why is it that, in some societies, seeing a male topless is completely acceptable but a female topless isn’t? Society has socialised many of us to see certain things as normal and certain things as abnormal, but this creates a fundamental inequality when we engage in any conversation to do with gender. There are many countries in the world that celebrate both the male and female figure but there are also many that do not. Now I’m not encouraging every woman to go outside and take your shirt off in the name of feminism, (but if you want to I fully support you!) but rather I am arguing that we should definitely be able to choose to do so. That was the main point my friend was making; feminism is about a woman not having to explain herself; being able to choose what she does with her own body without other women and men, the government or society judging/punishing her.
Feminism works both ways, if a women is choosing to cover herself from head to toe, and if another is choosing to wear a mini dress, but they both believe in fundamental equal rights between the genders, why should it matter how they choose to dress? My friend recently attended a ‘free the nipple’ seminar in Brighton and she explained to me that the main outcome of the seminar was that the idea of freeing the nipple is not the only part of the campaign that is liberating, but rather, that the freedom to choose to do so is also very important. So the freedom to choose to free the nipple is liberating, but the choice to not free the nipple is also liberating! OWN YOUR CHOICE! Women fighting for the free the nipple campaign are not striving to have a bunch of topless women walking the streets, but are instead fighting for each women to have complete ownership and control over her body and I LOVE THAT! Own your bodies, love yourself, wear whatever you want to wear and strive for freedom of choice!
Stay tuned for part 3 friends xxxx