Bonjour guys ! Everyone knows this famous word, the one starting with an « F ». We say it all the time though we don’t exactly know its meaning. Some people take it as an insult, some laugh about it, and some like me take it seriously. Fuck, what could this word be ? FEMINISM. I don’t want to write a vicious article, I don’t want to be that angry girl. I wanted to post something about this topic for a long time, but I didn’t know where to start. I guess I’m juste gonna leave words lead me.
A definition is probably the best way to begin, since for a lot of people the term « Feminism » is confusing. According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, »Feminism » is: « the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities » and : « the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes« . I ignore why there are so much debates around the meaning of this term, it’s quite simple : being feminist is being in favor of the equality between men and woman. It’s so uncommon to see societies in which men and woman are treated equal, that event in 2016 we have to fight to reclaim what’s due to us, as women, as human beings.
It’s only in the 20th Century that most countries have allowed women to vote, and even nowadays a few authoritative states forbid them to. They are also forbidden to drive, to take the plane without their husband approval, they are forced to marry an old man at 14 years old, they don’t have access to education, they are raped, excised, beaten and so on. It’s alarming to see how long the list is.
So called developed countries are not better. Yes we can vote, go to school, wear pants, but we are paid less, we have less important positions in companies, we are the minority in governments and in politics in general, when a couple has a child, it’s the mother who stays home and sacrifices her job.
The suffragettes were considered as dangerous by the establishment because they wanted to vote. The truth is that men in power were afraid to lose their positions if women were starting to vote differently from their husband. Eventually, after years and years of fight, women had the right to vote in most occidental countries. Also, they were granted access to education, and they accomplished great things, such as Marie Curie, who won the Nobel Prize of Physics in 1903. For centuries women have been writing books, but most of the time they had to take a man pseudonyme such as George Sand, and if they writings were to committed, they were beheaded like Olympe de Gouge. It’s outrageous. Hopefully, there are great writers such as Simone de Beauvoir, the author of « Le Deuxième Sexe » ( 1949) among other things, who were not censored.
Even the laws were sexist, some saying that a woman belongs to her father, then to her husband. She’s not free, she’s treated as unable to do anything by herself, she can’t be an heir, she can’t own anything, even if it belongs rightfully to her. Hopefully, things have evolved. But I’m chocked by the mentality from an other age that too many men still have. Most of them are from the old generation, but not all of them. There are men in their twenties who believe that it’s normal for a woman to stay home, to cook, to be a mother and nothing else, to clean the house… But hey, he can do it too !
I made me laugh when I heard someone say that a man can’t be a feminist. This person was a man, obviously, and he didn’t know what being a feminist means. A man can completely be a feminist, it means that he believes in equality between men and women. My father is a feminist. This word shouldn’t even exist. If we were all treated as equal, there would be no need to use this word. It’s funny in France, because the President wanted to instaure the first French government with a perfect parity, which he did, he also created a « women rights ministry ». The funny thing is that in France a woman is less payed than a man for the same position. So much parity in our society right ?
Some people, even women, say that they are not feminist because they have this prejudice that being feminist is being violent. It’s not because the pussy riots show their boobs in churches that every feminist does. Yes there are violent feminist movements, but it’s because we are not heard in the classic way. We have been fighting peacefully for centuries, begging for equality. Governments were saying » Yeah, we heard you, you can shut up now ». So we scream, in hope that now they will not just hear the sound of our voices, but listen to the words we say.
« Don’t cry like a girl » parents say to their boy. « You fight like a girl », they told him. Each time he were ashamed. Since when is it a shame to be a woman ? I loved this ad from Always, with the #likeagirl. It makes fun of all the prejudices about girls, if you haven’t seen it yet, you should.
Not to mention the right of abortion. « My body, My rights », I have nothing more to say. We do whatever the heck we want, no one except ourselves has the authority to decide what we should do with our belly. It’s our life for god sake, let us be free !
I am trying so hard not to cry when I see all those women beaten, when I hear all those sexist comments, when I see all this oppression, those images where women are made fun of in parliament ( in France it happens regularly ). I don’t feel safe when I walk alone in the streets, I always feel like eyes were on my butt, like if I were a pray. I am not an animal, I am a woman, a human being, I have a brain, I can think by myself, thank you. I am not an idiot, I have ambition, I don’t feel obligated to be a mother, I want to earn money, I wan to have responsibilities, I want to be free, I want to be treated equally, I AM A FEMINIST.
We, as women, should be proud of you we are, support each other, and believe that a better future is in front of us. We have to be strong, we have to keep fighting, we have to have faith, to resist, and to think about girls who will come after us. In what kind of world do we want them to grow up ? What exemple to we want to be ? But it’s also men duty to behave with respect towards us, to think that it’s normal for women to be treated as equal as them, and together, men and women, we can change things. I t will be long, it will be hard, but I hope with all my heart that it will pay.