Tomorrow, Tuesday 8th March is International Women’s Day.
So in honour, I’m starting FEMINISM WEEK on my blog!
I can see some people reading this and rolling their eyes, ready to exit out of my blog and boycott it for the next week. But hear me out – just read a little bit more and see if you change your mind. Plus, Thursday’s post will be all about Buffy so if that’s not an incentive to come back then I don’t know what is.
The first post in feminism week is starting with the basics – and answering the question why we need it. It’s a tough subject because there are so many stigmas against it, all of which I could talk about breaking for hours. But the basics are this:
Feminism benefits every person, of every gender, of every race.
I think the biggest thing that people against feminism need to remember is that they are lucky to live in a country that is advanced as it is. The rest of the world still exists, and it treats women even more appallingly than they are treated right in front of you.
(Warning ahead – this post will discuss rape and other abuse)
Now keep in mind – feminism is a HUGE topic.
The aim of this post is to explain to those who might be unsure or against feminism why it’s needed, and to encourage them to go out and keep learning themselves.
What it isn’t is a summary on every single aspect of feminism. It’s the hard, harsh facts that may be hard to read but it’s the truth and it’s what needs to be changed.
If you’re unconvinced by feminism, I hope this can help you make your mind up.
Feminism is needed.
One of the main arguments against feminism is the ‘Not All Men’ thing. And that’s true, not all men harass or abuse women – but it happens to every woman. If you’re female you will have been cat called. You will have experienced harassment. You will have been undermined because of your gender. And 1 in 5 of you will have been raped in your lifetime (and that’s just the American statistic).
The wage gap is a major problem – a study from last year showed that men in their 30s out-earned women in their 30s by an average of £8775 in the UK. In America, women make 75c to every male’s $1 (and that figure is lower for people of colour).
And it’s present in every industry – I have a big post coming later on in the week all about sexism in Hollywood.
But though important subjects, feminism isn’t just needed to alter wage gaps or abandon catcalling. It is direly needed to fix life or death situations all over the world.
Heard of female genital mutilation (FGM) before? If you haven’t, it refers to procedures that intentionally alter or cause injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons. And it’s estimated that 125 million girls and women globally are living with the effects of it. It’s most widespread in Africa and the Middle East, but it’s much closer to home than you may think. Though the practice is illegal in the United Kingdom, an estimated 137,000 women in the country are affected by FGM. Nigeria only banned the practice and made it illegal last year in May. Up until that point, female genital mutiliation had been completely legal. Think about that for a second.
We’ve all heard about Malala Yousufzai. A young girl who yearned for an education in a place where females were discouraged from going to school. She spoke out about why girls needed education, and she was shot in the head by the Taliban
Education is vital for young woman but globally, 65 million girls are not in school. And that’s a very distressing statistic when other studies show that:
Girls with eight years of education are four times less likely to marry as children.
Of the 123 million young people between the ages of 15 and 24 who cannot read or write, 61 percent of them are women.
A girl with an extra year of education can earn 20 percent more as an adult.
A child born to a mother who can read and write is 50 percent more likely to survive past the age of 5.
Rape is a global crisis. 1 in 5 american women will the victim of a rape attack in their lifetime. Approximately 85,000 women and 12,000 men are raped in England and Wales alone every year; that’s roughly 11 rapes (of adults alone) every hour. Nearly half a million adults are sexually assaulted in England and Wales each year. Always look into more than the percentage – a study found that 0.3% of Australians aged 18 years and over had been a victim of sexual assault. 0.3% doesn’t sound like much, but that’s 51,200 individual people.
“Rape is a global crisis”
Rape is severely under-reported – but you can see why. In more countries and cultures than you think, a person can be disowned, un-supported or even killed for speaking up about being raped. If you want to read more into different countries and how they treat rape cases, read this. I promise that you will be shocked and horrified.
Rape is never the victims fault. Even if they flirted – they choose to consent to sex. Even if they’re in a relationship – they choose to consent to sex. Even if they were wearing revealing clothes – they choose to consent to sex. The whole prospect that what somebody wears can be to blame for them being attacked and violated is being belief – woman were raped in the 1800s whilst wearing petticoats, crinolines, corsets, panniers and hoop skirts. Clothing is clothing, and is never consent or ‘asking for it’.
Rape ruins people’s lives, whatever the person’s excuse.
And whilst two of these main topics I chose to centre on are centred on helping women, think about how feminism can help other genders. Gender roles condition people before they’re born. The idea that specific genders have to act specific ways, have specific interests and like specific colours is ridiculous, but it’s something that’s been engrained into almost every person on this planet’s mind.
Here’s some ways that feminism can benefit men:
Ending the ‘man up’ stigma
Male custody of children
Public spaces for men to change children’s nappies
And it’s worse for people of other genders; Transgender, gender fluid or genderqueer.
64% of transgender people have experienced sexual assault in their lifetime
Yes, feminism is direly needed to stop cat-calling and kitchen jokes.
But it’s also needed to save millions of lives all over the world.
Do you agree with what I’m saying? Then you’re a feminist.
These is only some very basic places to start in feminism. If I expanded more on every subject then this post would go on your days. But if you’re starting to see the need, then I really encourage you to go out and search for more to learn.
I’m learning more about feminism every day, and you can be too.
FEMINIST TWITTER ACCOUNTS YOU SHOULD DEFINITELY FOLLOW