It seems like over the years feminism has become more and more of a household name among the younger generation – but not for the right reasons. Throughout the years the once innocent name ‘feminism’ has received the fair share of stigma and has been clouded with taboo. With feminism being tainted all that remains are anti-feminist memes,tweets and social media pages. People have been heavily influenced by celebs who find it more important to be sexually empowered than intellectually empowered. And for this reason feminism conjures up images of angry, man-hating, bra burning women instead of peace and equality. It sparks up arguments instead of a voices of harmony. But why is it that feminism is seen as offensive? And ultimately is feminism really a dirty word?
Let’s take it right back to the roots and the original feminist movement and purpose, this was none other than First-wave feminism. First-wave feminism was a period of feminist activity and thought that occurred during the 19th and early 20th century throughout the Western world. It focused on legal issues, primarily on gaining the right to vote. It was often known as women’s liberation before the very offensive term feminism came about. So Google :what is the definition of feminism ‘the advocacy of women’s rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes.’ So why is it that people feel threatened to claim that they are feminists. It is all these constant negative connotations toward feminism that both women and men feel uncomfortable to even say the word feminism!
But to enable ourselves to move forward and continue the feminist movement we need to reject the negative stereotypes and ignore the fact that on the day of the women’s march all you see is anti-feminist tweets and memes, we need to ignore those downward glances at a women or man who is strong enough to proudly say ‘I am a feminist.’ And remember that changing the ‘oh so very offensive’ word feminism to equality will definitely not change the motive of the movement (EQUALITY), it wont reduce those groans of disbelief and looks of disdain. But surely that does not mean that feminism is a dirty word, it means that maybe if society would change its mindset on feminism we wouldn’t have to change the word we regard it as. Stop making excuses to find a way out to help deal with important issues and start realising that if it does not affect you now it will affect you in the future. So now you truly tell me, Is feminism really a dirty word?