fem·i·nism [fem-uh-niz-uhm] noun
1 The doctrine advocating social, political, and all other rights of women equal to those of men.
2 An organized movement for the attainment of such rights for women.
It’s one of those words that, as women, we are supposed to embrace, but actually it makes the majority of us run for home to put our pjs on and watch trashy TV. We don’t care.
Don’t get me wrong, before a big bunch of radical feminists start a tirade, I DO believe that men and women are equal. I’m not here to troll on women who stand up for the rights of our tribe, and I definitely agree that we are just as capable as the men folk of securing high powered jobs, commanding equal salaries, and often (but not always, said through gritted teeth) doing it better. But I think that the word feminism has taken it past that, and now there is this polarisation of us every day women who prune our eyebrows so that we have two before heading off to the office (and doing it all in heels!), and those who plait their armpit hair and throw rotten fruit at male passersby, just for the heck of it.
I watched a TV programme where a woman was debunking beauty rituals, and what we do to make ourselves feel ‘womanly’. I use this in the loosest terms, as there was a guy who sprayed his face with hairspray to fix his fake tan, a ritual that I would stick firmly in the ‘taking it to far’ bucket, along with botox and bum hole bleaching (don’t get me started…). But one of the issues she tackled was the idea of shaving and waxing and how we should embrace our inner marsupial. There was a group of women who “let their feminism run free” (their term, not mine) and went to the swimming pool to share this with the general public, on a weekly basis. For the purpose of entertainment, they interviewed a load of teenage boys, who hopped from foot to foot, not making eye contact with the shrubbery, and proclaimed “each to their own, but I don’t really like it…..” These women then discussed how the act of hair removal is ‘to fit into a male stereotype’; and ‘porn is 100% to blame’.
Ridiculous. If hairy armpits and gnarly toe nails are feminism personified, then I’m out.
It’s got nothing to do with men. I quite like being able to get into bed and not spark a fire from my leg hairs sliding down the duvet cover. And when wearing sandals, I like to see pretty pastel colours poking out, rather than crusty nails. If having a pedicure and plucking my eyebrows makes me stuck in the dark, then ill happily light my candle and read my book by myself, thank you very much.
What do you define feminism as?