Wednesday, 4 July 2012

My Idea of Modern Day Feminism

Does modern day feminism actually exist? It's a question thats been plaguing my thoughts as I've reached my womanhood years, especially when looking at the roles of women in todays society as opposed to that of my mother's/grandmother's generation. Women have choice to do as they please now, with most being expected to gain careers first and leave marriage and motherhood for later. However, isn't it ironic that since we have become the most independent we've ever been as a gender, we feel the most insecure about ourselves?

Is it just a coincidence that now we have an abundance of magazines and media all geared towards how women should look and behave, particularly single women, who are left to feel like spinsters now they are "career mad" and have left no time for love. They should all look up to fictional characters like Carrie Bradshaw as some sort of beacon of light for their troubled love lives, no? It is kind of ironic now that we have women who are CEO's of major corporations and who also go home alone at night and beat themselves up for not being a size zero. Are women punishing themselves because they feel they somehow aren't worthy of such independence, or have women subconsciously been brainwashed since childhood to adapt more to the mothering, doll-loving type of female - and then feel they are betraying their destiny?

It isn't coincidental that there are record high numbers of women with eating disorders now, or that the beauty industry is worth more than what it has ever been? There is this tremendous pressure on women today to, amongst other things,  look like a supermodel, work like a soldier, mother like a carer, cook like a chef, be a lover like a porn star, be a wife like a Stepford and multitask like a computer. How are we suppose to do it all? Is this some testosteroned-fuelled conspiracy at keeping the stronger sex down?
Personally, I'm not surprised that women are pretty messed up these days. We haven't had long enough to adapt to this freedom and are not so sure how to do it, we are even competitive with each other just to add more of a burden to the problem. Some of us even try to 'rebel' against particular things that they feel a typical woman is "expected to do", such as cleaning and cooking. Well, I'm sorry but being able to cook for yourself is nothing to do with gender it is a life skill that helps us become self-sufficient and independent. Girls who refuse to do so are just limiting themselves greatly.
The simple fact is, we need to chill out and realise we can't be it all, well not the "all" we've been brought up to think we could be. By letting a picture of a model make you upset will only let your insecurities take hold. By letting a colleague treat you like the token, stereotypical "woman" of the office will only let you feel more objectified. It's time women stood up for themselves as individuals and backed up their fellow sex on their individual choices and not compete, nor make such astronomical, unobtainable goals. Once you realise that you will never look like Gisele, you will feel free and probably end up feeling more beautiful in your own individual way.

Sometimes I get confused with the label of feminist. It seems to me modern day feminists are more concerned with judging other women for not living their lives the way they think they should. The last thing we want is for women to obtain an independence only to have it taken away by a group of women who feel they know what's best. I would be the first to stand up for women's rights, whether it be for equal pay or sexual liberation, however, on the other hand I do feel that sometimes women of today don't appreciate nor understand the fight it was for our earlier generations to get us where we are now. A real pet peeve of mine is the pathetically low amount of young women who come out to vote. I can only imagine how different the world would be if more people bothered to vote, I feel it's a slap to the face of your human rights not to bother to vote. Of course many don't vote out of political protest, I'm not referring to that, I'm talking about just a general lack of knowledge about your own country and economy that prevents you from making a mature, informed choice about who should run your country on your behalf. Another thing I find troubling, is the ratio of men to women any time I turn on the television and see Parliament. It is quite shocking how it's still majority men who are in politics, are women not somehow smart enough to sit in Parliament, or is it that politics in general is deemed "boring" by the idiotic masses of society? Who knows.
I just feel that women are too concerned with what others think of them and their choices and, along with this impossible pressure to be perfect, will make them their worst enemy in times to come. We need to take a huge step back and think what it is we, as individuals, want to do in life? If you don't now just yet, then don't pester yourself too much! In time your destiny will reveal itself.

(images via FindingUlcinea and handmade)

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