Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Everyday Feminism

Just because the surface is clear doesn't mean the underlying current is. Yes it is great for people to speak up for women’s rights and debunk the stigma surrounding the terms feminism and feminist. But to only take part in or notice of the fight when a celebrity has given a speech and go back to doing nothing when the hype dies down is an affront to women everywhere.

It is insulting to act as though women's rights only matter when endorsed by a celebrity. The fact that some people are only willing to get behind a cause because it's attached to a celebrity and for as long as it is prominent in the media is sad. Women's right to equality is worth more than a celebrity endorsement; our lives are not marketable commodities. Our rights to equality and to be taken seriously are not on par with shampoo, cat food and coffee. 

Do you have any idea how heartbreaking it is to tell people how they are hurting you, themselves or others and be dismissed only to see those same people take notice when someone they don't even know personally tells them the exact same thing. How depressing it is that your opinion is seemingly worth less to those who care about you than that of a stranger. 

If people need celebrity endorsement to understand or share the importance of human rights then this planet is seriously more screwed up than most realise. People should know that equality and in this case specifically feminism are important because they are female or know females. It should not only be important for as long as the hype of a celebrity's speech is in the media. It should not only be important simply because of fame period. It is more than acceptable to speak out without the need of someone holding your hand. If you are only sharing because 'OMG it's XXX' you are missing the point of this important issue. This is an issue that needs to be addressed and noticed every single day because we live in the 21st century and it's long overdue that women are treated equal to men. The general public may not have fame but by ignoring the message because it doesn't come from someone famous is insulting to everyone trying to make this world a better place. Our voices are just as important. Our struggles just as significant. This needs to be important every day because if only celebrity's comments are treated as important than it diminishes the overall importance of the cause. Take a stand not because a celebrity told you to but because it is the right thing to do. Be part of the solution every day, not just when it’s made trendy to do so. 

And if you think it is easy being a feminist out of the limelight think again. I may not have experienced anything as serious as death or rape threats but I deal with harassment and rudeness on a regular basis for voicing my beliefs and standing up for my rights.

·       I have been accused of soap boxing
·       I have been told I take things too seriously and read too much into everything
·       I have been told I'm a man hater
·       It's been assumed I must be gay
·       I have been told too many times: ‘that’s just how it is’, ‘it was just a joke’, ‘you’re only one person’, ‘why don’t you just stop’

Human rights are something I have been passionate about since I was three. Respect, equality & self-worth are infinitely important to me. And yet people still attack me over my beliefs and praise celebrities for saying the exact same thing. How does that even make sense! To mock, hate or ignore feminism is to perpetuate the problem. The fact that equality and feminism still offends people or is something to be complacent about is an insult to females everywhere. 

Quit being a sheep, open your eyes, dig deeper, see beyond the surface and fight for equality because it is the humane thing to do. Take equality seriously, it's not a fad or something to forget about when the media buzz wears off. Women you are worth it. Men you have women in your lives. Stand up for them, stand with them and speak out! 

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