Wednesday, 7 August 2013

'Do you not shave then?'

As I muddled my way through university, I never paid much attention to feminism, despite it being the perfect opportunity to educate myself. Now I'm sat behind this bloody reception all day every day, I'm using all this empty time to learn. I think it's important to note that I am still learning, but what I have gathered is that there are many different definitions of feminism dependant on individual perceptions and experiences.

Several months ago I was out for lunch with work friends, during which one of my friends made a joke somewhere along the lines of 'you can't say that, you're a feminist!' At this, one of the girls was surprised.

'A feminist?!' she said. 'Are you really?'

'Well yeah,' I replied. 'are you not?'

She responded honestly, explaining that she didn't fully understand what feminism is, and asking 'do you not shave then?' I asked her simply if she considers men equal to women, and used the gender pay gap as an example, and when she agreed with the sentiments, one of the other girls said 'no, feminism is a lot more complicated than that.' Unfortunately she didn't elaborate on her ideas of feminism.

Of course there are more complex ways of considering feminism. I have friends with radical feminist views, who have one goal of destroying the patriarchy and establihing a matriarchal rule. For me, it's just about equality. When discussing feminism, it's not uncommon to hear (in my own experiences this is usually from a male perspective) that 'women are equal to men now!' So when you read articles like this, it's utterly heartbreaking.

I don't think I can discuss that article because my hayefever seems to kick off every time I consider that poor girl, but what I will say, Captain Obvious over here, is simply that rape culture has to stop. A 12 year old was raped and the amount of times I heard 'she shouldn't have been out that late' is nauseating. That's a point to question, why is a young girl out that late? That's for the parent or guardian of the girl to answer. Just because she is out late though, that does not automatically mean she is inviting sexual abuse. We don't know the full circumstances as to why she was out late, but we know victims don't instigate sexual abuse. The fact it was after midnight should not overshadow the fact there were three men looking to sexually abuse this child.

And you're okay with these guys doing that just because it was after midnight? Walking around and taking advantage of the first child they see without a parent or guardian with them? The only people to blame for rape are the rapists.

Sorry, I went into rant mode. Just another of those angry feminist types who doesn't shave her legs.

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