This is a word I often hear, with negative connotations. People associate it with women trying to force the idea that they're better than you on people or women going about without bras. There are so many negative connotations surrounding the word; so much so that people don't want to be anywhere near the word. Just the other day I was discussing my art theme with my teacher and it brought us to feminism and my teacher quickly said "Oh, but I'm not a feminist or anything".
This made me stop in the middle of what I was thinking.
She was talking about the hypocrisy of different genders getting different pay for the same jobs but did not want to be involved with the word 'FEMINISM'.
It led me to think: What does feminism actually mean?
To me it was simple. To me, feminism meant equality. It meant that everyone is just as good as everyone else. It meant that girls can win boxing competitions, but it also meant that boys can be amazing ballerinas. It meant that girls can be good at running, without being "good for a girl". It meant that boys can be sensitive and kind without being "gay". It broke the labels. It broke the notion that if your girl you can never be as good as a boy, that we have all been exposed to since no age.
In primary school, I always say remember the boys being split up from the girls while playing sports, because the boys were too 'rough'. But what does that mean to an innocent child's mind? It means girls aren't tough. It means boys always have to be. That seemingly insignificant act of splitting up girls and boys, would cause a domino effect. On sports day if a girl won a race, you were good, for a girl. If a boy lost, he ran like a girl.
When a child is constantly exposed to these words, they begin to wonder, what's wrong with being a girl? Why is my gender being used to offend me?
We all know that the saying "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me", is completely false. We hear it everyday. So why is it still a surprise that when young girls are made to feel inferior than their male counterparts, that they will become inferior. Why is it shocking that some girls don't try their best in PE, when their whole lives, they have been told they not as strong, or not as fast or not as tough as the boys? Why is a cause for wonder that some boys grow up to be hateful and angry when their whole life they have been taught to hide their emotions?
Be careful with your words.
I want to break the chains tying the word feminism to anger and hate. Feminism is the most peaceful and harmonious word I have came across. When I first heard it, it opened a new section of my mind that I had never been to. It allowed me to question why I believed that girls weren't as strong or as powerful or as intelligent as boys. Because when you think about it,it's ridiculous that anyone would believe it for a second.
Let's stop the indoctrination.