Feminism. Noun: the advocacy of women’s rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes. Copy and pasted from google. Not that it was necessary to google it. Feminism is a growing movement. Growing in popularity; growing in attention and growing in coverage in the media. It’s empowering women across the world and I think it’s great. Who wouldn’t?
I’ve read Malala’s autobiography, watched documentaries, like Honor Diaries and Brave Girl Rising. These true eye-openers have made me realise the vital purpose of the feminism movement and the oppression it is battling. But you don’t even need to watch documentaries and read stories about people on the other side of world to see females being oppressed. It happens everyday, under our noses and behind our backs. In sport. On the street. On TV. At the age of 13, my observations prompted me to start a pitifully doomed ‘campaign’ to find 1000 people who would pay to watch women’s football, in the hope that it might spur it on… The list is still in progress, tucked away in a drawer somewhere… Come on, they were good intentions…
Therefore I would consider myself a feminist because I truly believe in equality between the two sexes. Right?
Well, I’m not sure I can really call myself a ‘feminist’, because I do not agree with the beliefs of some of the other ‘feminists’. They seem to think that by creating a wider void between men and women, by demonising men, by labelling them as sexist monsters, they will achieve equality. You’re probably thinking I’m delusional. Surely that is not happening. But it was only last week that a supposedly harmless tweet from the England FA account alit outrage. It read, ‘Our lionnesses go back to being mothers, partners and daughters today, but they have taken on another title – heroes’. In my perhaps innocent mind, I saw a wonderful picture of down-to-earth, fearless women returning to their families after doing their countries proud, rather like soldiers returning from the battlefield. I think I must have been alone because feminists responded with disgust, calling the FA ‘f***ing idiots’ to post such an ‘appalling’ ‘sexist’, ’patronising’ tweet. If it had been said sarcastically by some guy, clapping his hands half-heartedly, fair enough. But I genuinely believe the poor content editor had all good intentions, probably trying to please feminists by painting the ladies how I had pictured- down-to-earth, fearless women. At the end of the day, he himself called them ‘lionesses’ and ‘heroes’.
Shocked and ashamed by the upset caused, he hastily deleted the tweet and reworded it. Was that necessary? Or has the fear and censorship instilled by some feminists on the media simply been taken too far?
A few days later, Andy Murray was conquered miserably by Roger Federer. As a man, who is seen as more resilient and easier to insult, the Daily Mail ridiculed him. Their article on the match was titled, ‘Blown it’, with an unfortunate shot of him blowing a raspberry. He was depicted as a bit of a loser, to be honest. Would you prefer Andy Murray’s reception or the reception the England ladies received, portrayed as gallant and fearless, back-handing the defeat effortlessly (something that Murray didn’t quite manage)? I’d certainly choose the latter.
Please don’t get me wrong. I am well-aware of the horrifying treatment of women across the world and the subtle indentations of the same oppression hidden in our lives everyday. But I just cannot take ‘feminism’ seriously when some seem to lose sight of the target. I thought feminism was the fight for equality, but it often appears to be overtaken some righteous ladies angrily charging into something, causing a problem rather than solving one and calling themselves ‘feminists’.