Tuesday, 10 May 2011

The F Word.

It's a dirty word nowadays. One people don't want to use. One people seem not to identify with anymore. But why are we so anti feminist now? I think it has something to do with the images one associates with feminism. The clich├ęd, aggressive women who burnt their bras and didn't shave. And while you appreciate their point, it doesn't mean you have to forgo vanity to be feminist. Because, really, feminism is all about equality. The idea that women are equal to men. That there is no "second sex".

Of course Post-Structuralists argue that because of binary oppositions, male and female are opposites. Fair enough, opposites doesn't necessarily mean good and bad. But, in the world of binary oppositions there are usually primary and secondary values. Mankind. History, his-story. We live in a patriarchal society where women are the second sex, as exposed by Simone De Beauvoir. But feminism has to be careful in fighting back. We do not want men to become the second sex either. We should aim for true equality. And we do not yet have this.

I propose that we reclaim the values of feminism in a new word. Homosexuals outed themselves as "gay", atheists are stepping forward as "brights". Feminism needs to also reclaim it's tired outlook, and find a new term, one that men can also feel involved with. Because for equality to truly begin, we need to find a new discourse of anti-discrimination for both genders.

Take inspiration from Grace Nichols' poem, "On Beauty", in which she reclaims negative stereotyping, by celebrating individual identity.


is a fat black woman
walking the fields
pressing a breezed
to her cheek
while the sun lights up
her feet

is a fat black woman
riding the waves
drifting in happy oblivion
while the sea turns back
to hug her shape

1 comment:

  1. Well said, that was quite inspirational! And I couldn't agree more!