Friday, 9 January 2015

Why Does Not Being A Feminist Matter?

Although she's since apologised and claimed that her views were "taken out of context" many women were outraged when Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting, of The Big Bang Theory fame, claimed that she wasn't a feminist when speaking to Redbook. She said;

"I know a lot of the work that paved the way for women happened before I was around... I was never that feminist girl demanding equality, but maybe that's because I've never really faced inequality."

So what, why does it matter, right? 

History saw women fight for their rights for everything; women in Britain in the past gave their lives, spent hours protesting and spoke up when they were expected to be seen and not heard - all so women like me in future generations could work, vote, be paid fairly, get safe abortions and generally have rights that were previously only given to men. It's no secret that I support feminism, and it's final destination of equality for all, but that's not the reason that this seems so alien to me. A lot of the work that paved the way for women did happen before she was around, it's true. It happened before me, before you, before our mothers and likely before our grandmothers - but it goes on, we have seen it in our generation.

Malala Yousafzi was shot by the Taliban in 2012 for defending her right to an education, as a woman. Leelah Alcorn committed suicide in 2014 due to a lack of rights, understanding and support offered to her as a transgender woman. We saw Emma Watson deliver a speech in 2014, telling us feminism remains an issue - and extending her offer of understanding to men who needed to support the cause as much as women. There are others, I could continue, but the point is - we have seen feminism and the quest for equality first hand - it's not enough to pass it off as a motion that's already passed, it's ongoing, it will be ongoing for a lot longer than it needs to be if we keep this attitude burning strong. It is not enough to dismiss a cause because it's something that you've never experienced, the fact that we have more rights as white, British  females is not enough to allow us to be complacent - we must remember that in other parts of the world our gender is considered a weakness and treated as such, and that's our problem, too. This is our business, whether we like it or not. We have more power than girls in some other countries could ever imagine, we have the right to an education where they don't, we have the right to an opinion, the right to a voice - surely it's our duty to use those benefits to help them, just like we would hope they would do for us if it was the other way around.

Kaley Cuoco Sweeting didn't disappoint female fans by cooking for her husband, something she suggested that she wasn't a feminist because of, she disappointed her female fans for not understanding and openly recognising that the fact that she can choose to do that, and the fact that it's for a man that she married for love and out of her own choice, is down to feminism. She disappointed her fans by not recognising that the fact that she was allowed an opinion publicly, and that people would listen to her seriously, that's down to feminism. She disappointed her fans by not realising that her privilege, complacency and the fact that she could say those things and believe them to be true? That's down to feminism. 

So I asked you, why does not being a feminist matter, not for Kaley Cuoco Sweeting, but all of us? It matters because I don't understand who could sit comfortably in a role somebody else gave their entire being to campaign for, and still not realise how privileged we are, still not realise that there are women powerless in other parts of the world that need us to fight for them like others did for us. It matters because we are allowed too strong a voice, especially considering many of us are bloggers, to let it go unnoticed, to allow it be used unremarkably. It matters because we are women, and men, and we are all humans. It matters because we were born equal, and we deserve to be treated as such. It matters.

What do you say to the idea some women aren't feminists?

Sammy xo.

If you liked this you might like: Feminism Vs. Human Decency

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