I was watching Free Speech on BBC 3, there were four representatives for the Conservatives party being questioned by an audience of young people. Amongst the four representative (to my surprise) was Luisa Zissman, runner up from Sir Alan Sugar’s TV series, The Apprentice (also on BBC, I see a connection), who is known as a business woman and Celebrity Big Brother contestant- Yep the last person I thought would stand on a panel for conservative, back to the point.
A young person asked the panel of four (this is taken from my memory) ‘ Where does the conservatives stand in rights for women’, from her tone, she clearly felt the party had not supported women at work, since the gender pay gap is still in existence. The term feminism was mentioned, and Zissman made it clear ‘I am not a feminist’.
The crowd was outraged, the girl who asked the question was quick to shoot the verbal bullets, whilst a ‘not bothered’ Zissman sat there attempting to defend herself. Yet the roars of the ‘feminists’ kept booing her choice. The young person then told her to ‘learn the definition’. This scene was a primary example as to why feminism is rejected by some women, the audience member came across as violent as she persuaded Zissman that she was indeed a feminst. Zissman had a comeback which was not strong enough.
I decided to go and search the definition. Funnily enough, the definition had changed since the last time I looked it up (end of last year). With the rise in the voice of the feminist generation, the true meaning seems to have been lost in translation.
- a person who supports feminism
- The advocacy of women’s rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes.
- the doctrine advocating social, political, and all other rights of women equal to those of
- A person who belives in the social, political, and economic equality of the sexes
Snapshot of the History
- Wave 1 – Relates to the suffragette movement, in Britain this was in the late 19th This wave heavily focused on women’s rights and the abolition of certain laws.
- Wave 2 – This wave, in the 60’s, emphasised sisterhood, giving women a voice and uniting women despite their background (race, sexuality, class etc).
- Wave 3- This wave promoted empowerment and freedom, in the mid 1990’s. In basic informal terms, being sexy and still having brains.
I feel we are commencing a fourth wave of feminists.
So definitions and history lessons out of the way. Feminism is moving into a new place, complete equality of the sexes. Women want what men have, funnily enough will the men get any benefits which women get? (e.g. children, acceptance of vulnerability, social status), after all that is TOTAL gender equality. This new wave is almost a collaboration of all three feminism movements.
From observation, women and men must be the same in the eyes of the law. Bloggers and musicians unite the female ‘race’ as one as they chant over the term feminism, whilst promoting looking and feeling as sexy as ever, and holding the careers they want, because we have the brains for it!
The is the 21st century feminism.
What Do I think?
Firstly I am a strong believer in men and women are equals but not the same.
motherhood (unless you are Beyoncé) is disregarded in this movement
Secondly, Feminism has been a great marketing tool, overused and claimed by the unlikely. Anyone who questions the term is made to believe they are not part of this big trend change. Along the way the true definition of feminism has been confused, no wonder Zissman was blank.
I feel motherhood (unless you are Beyoncé) is disregarded in this movement (well, it isn’t a priority…for now). I’m a mother, and all I have been hearing is the independent women who have babies later on in life (how great they are for freezing their eggs and contributing to society). So is there no hope for those who are juggling a career and family? Beyoncé is praised, she does what she does and she’s a mother, who fits into the category of career first then child.
Woops, even she doesn’t represent all women.
Of course there is still a long way to go. When will the day come when mothers and fathers are seen as equal to the law? Right now, women are seen as more valuable to their children compared to men. When will the workplace give all mothers the flexibility they need? Right now a business is a business, if you cannot meet their needs, there are hundreds of applicants who can fill your place. Then again, what about women who do not have a career? The women who decide to become entrepreneurs (regardless of size of business)? The women who take on their husbands name?
If we look across the decade, there have been changes and we hope that in the next decade there are more changes. We are a generation of words and little actions. Our ancestors would be at 10 Downing street demanding equal pay. We rant online, sometimes a million likes changes something, sometimes it does.
There is no point labeling yourself a feminist if you are not willing to take a stand and show the world the definition through your actions. Come on true feminists, it shouldn’t just be a label, fight for what women of today need.