Is feminism the new F word?

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Line breaks: fem¦in|ism
Pronunciation: /ˈfɛmɪnɪz(ə)m 

Definition of feminism in English:


The advocacy of women’s rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes.

Feminism has had a serious revamp recently. With high profile advocators like Lena Dunham, Caitlin Moran and Emma Watson rooting for the cause, I would say it has become a far more popular and almost 'trendy' movement. If you'd asked me a few years ago what a feminist was, I would almost certainly have described a hairy legged, bra burning, socks and sandals wearing, short haired lesbian. Sorry to all the feminists out there, but it's true. In my opinion, the word has had quite negative connotations until recently and has often been associated with man-hating women who invent reasons why men think they're better than them.

I've never identified as a feminist, however like most topics I write about, this blog post was sparked by a debate with someone where I realised I disagreed entirely with their point of view and in fact had quite a few opinions about the subject. I still wouldn't say I am a feminist and I certainly don't feel strongly enough to take part in any activism but I do feel that sexism is still very prevalent in today's society.

Her view was that women are still seen as beings who's main priority is to pop out children. She said that if she were an employer and was deciding between offering a promotion to a man or a woman, she would offer it to the man on the grounds that the woman might decide she wants children and have to take a lot of time off. And if the woman already had children, she would prioritise them over her career. This will be quite a wide spread train of thought- she can't be the only person with this opinion.

My counter argument was that it takes two to tango, and where there's a child with a mother it has to have a father. Why shouldn't the man be equal with his wife when it comes to taking responsibility for the care of his children? He may have to drop everything and go and pick his sick child up from school. He may have to take time off for appointments or school plays. He may not perform his best at work when he's had a sleepless night because his newborn wouldn't stop crying. Then there may be women who can't have children, or women like me who chose not to have children because, shock horror, there are other things in their lives more important than the burning desire to push a watermelon sized screaming bundle of white muck out of their vagina and spend the next 18 years looking after it.

Are women really being thought of like this still in today's society? Are these outdated and frankly insulting views still relevant in the world we live in today, where women are no longer tied to the kitchen sink while their husband goes out to work? With the reams of information and opportunities available at our fingertips, women are now showing more than ever that you can successfully manage a career and a personal life - Anna Wintour, Michelle Mone, Karren Brady (who throws a football team in the mix), Oprah Winfrey, and Jacqueline Gold to name but a few. So is this recent incline in feminism the product of the modern woman being given the ways and means to let her voice be heard? Or is feminism the new F word?

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