Feminism is a philosophical concept that discusses a number of beliefs, ideas and equality for and about women. Its core idea is that women are disadvantaged in comparison to men. Feminism reviews economic, social, political and cultural inequality with men. In its basic definition, feminism is a belief that women should be treated as equal to men, as currently, they are not, which in turn, puts women at a disadvantage to men.
With such a basic and broad definition of what Feminism is, it is hardly surprising that the understanding and narrative portrayed by women about ‘being a feminist’ and feminism is diverse and caused controversy among women and men alike.
The popularity of Social Media can demonstrate the diversity and potential misunderstanding of what feminism is. For the first time in history women and men are free to use their image
And publish that image in a manner that they chose and at a time of their choosing. For example, in the United States of America, Europe and Australasia, some women/feminists believe it is their right to take photographs of themselves topless and post the image on social media. It is these women, who have become social media celebrities, for example, Kim Kardashian, who use their sexuality to sell products and aspirational lifestyles. With millions of followers, all applauding them for their freedom, and freedom of expression and speech.
Other women, in the same countries, believe this is not feminism and brings feminism into disrepute. They believe that the image of a topless woman is a method of portraying female sexuality in a male-dominated environment. This image is not that of freedom of equality but a collaboration of female subligation even though the individual takes the image. The image is the male ideal of what a woman should be and how they should act and be available for him.
At the same time, women in some countries are fighting for a right to an education. They are fighting for the ability to walk the streets without being attacked. Without lude comments and being independant. In addition, human slavery is on the increase and women’s rights of freedom of movement is being curtailed by law and voluntary curfews. In the papers on the 8 March 2017, a 14-year-old girl
had been given a total of £0.40 to attach a bomb to her body by terrorists. She then became a human bomb and died. A woman in Indonesia has been publically flogged to death. Her crime, being seen in close proximity to a man without being married.
Personal Perspective on Feminism
Feminism is a broad issue and will mean different things to different people. This definition varies depending on your current lifestyle, where you live and your economic background. For a middle-class European, being treated as an equal to a man in the workplace is important. Additionally, in society and the right to voice your opinions and own your own image is important. The right to take a photograph of yourself and determining the distribution of that image is a right you have. In other countries, such as Indonesia, feminism is the right to walk the street and talk to a man without being flogged to death!
In conclusion, women’s history and the struggle to gain our rights in the UK, USA and Australia have been fought by our predecessors for many years. We have rights because of their struggle, efforts and diligence. However, many other countries are now fighting for the rights we take for granted. We need to remember our past so that our present and our future is secure. Moreover, the rights we take for granted today are the same as those we have in the future.