If you are a woman (or man, for that matter) and you care about your daughter growing up in an equal society, then whether you like the word or not YOU ARE A FEMINIST!
There seems to be a plethora of articles on and offline at the moment discussing the pros and cons of being a feminist, or more to the point, what the word feminism means and if we still need it or if you are one how you should behave! ‘Are you a feminist’ has become the number one question the media are eager to ask women in the public eye from Michelle Obama to Cameron Diaz and then dedicate pages of space to their answers so other women can scrutinise and criticise their definition and/or comments. This ladies, is definitely NOT sisterhood.
I have ranted about this many times before and it would seem I need to rant some more! I fail to understand what the big deal is here – if you are a woman (or man, for that matter) and you care about your daughter growing up in an equal society, where she is respected and given the same opportunities as the boys and not vilified for her personal choices, or only regarded for the way she looks, then whether you like the word or not YOU ARE A FEMINIST! So let’s move beyond the word and get on with the job at hand!
Clearly another agenda is at play here with the media constantly pitching women against each other, ensuring we appear to have totally opposing views on the same subject – this copy is perfect for making us appear confused, lost, angry, indecisive, or just plain stupid! And we are buying into it. More importantly it makes it look like we do not care about each other, or the philosophy of equality that we are supposed to embrace. This ‘sister baiting’ plays into the wrong hands every time and disempowers us. We are off message and it is time we woke up to the real issues feminism is about rather than continually justifying that feminism is not about hating men or burning bras or wearing dungarees or power dressing or being viewed as ball breakers when we reach the top. I am so bored of all this aren’t you?
Furthermore I am also bored of people saying you must be a bad person and an equally a bad feminist if you dare to utter one word against another woman. I appreciate after what I have just said this may seem like a contradiction but feminists are human beings, not saints! No one is immune to an opinion and just because you don’t like what Beyoncé is wearing does not mean you hate her or disrespect her life choices. We are not made of sugar and spice and all things nice. We are bold, and brave; nurturing and collaborative and pioneers of change and every step we take demands courage and conviction. Time to step it up gals. Walk it, work it Be it!
*** About Jane Kenyon ***
Jane Kenyon is a dynamic, serial and social entrepreneur involved in several businesses and working as a coach and speaker internationally. She is recognised by her peers as an inspiring individual who has the ability and talent to expect nothing less than outstanding and although she has experienced hardships in both her personal and business life, she never quits.
In 2011 she won a SheNetwork award for her social enterprise Girls Out Loud and in 2012 was nominated for a National Diversity Award as the top female role model, only 1 of 3 finalists from over 5000 applications.