- Politics and Social Issues
Real Feminist Icons?
The definition of feminism is, according to Dictionary.com, 'The doctrine advocating the social, political,and all other rights of women equal to those of men' and also 'An organized movement for the attainment of such rights for women'.
The movement finds its origins in the early 1800s, although there are others who proffer the foremothers began their important work a few centuries before. There are well known feminists and there are those who were more subtle in their approach, actually doing the hard graft to make women equal to men.
We often reminisce about earlier decades but would women folk today really prefer to go back to times where women had no rights to land or were not even allowed to work. I think not.
Modern feminists or those who consider themselves feminists sometimes behave in ways that are contrary to the word feminism, and yet they use the term blindly to describe themselves without really thinking about the consequences of their actions and the effect on the association of the word feminist.
Let us take, for instance, popular female singers in mainstream musical culture. Many of them call themselves feminists, and claim to act as feminists, and yet they behave in ways that are paradoxical in nature and actually go against feminism and feminist beliefs.
Early feminists, and even feminists today fought and fight for women to be treated not as sexual objects, and to not be seen as sexual objects in gaining success in life, and yet many popular culture 'feminists' are overtly sexual and in fact use their sexuality to an explicit level, whereby the very act of their own self-portrayal goes against feminism and the very notion of being a feminist. Surely a real feminist is a woman who tries to gain success not by using her sexuality but by using her skills and talents.
I understand that the sexual revolution marked a huge step in the progress of women and feminists around the world, but there is a difference between sexual freedom for women and overtly sexual material that leads men to see the singer not as a singer but as a sexual object, even if the singer is remarkably talented and doesn't actually need the enticing of men to gain success. It simply doesn't make any sense.
Do we still live in a society where even if you are the most talented, amazing, and strong woman your success is largely based on the titillation of men?