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Sunday, 8 January 2012

Words from a New Feminist

By Josie Brinkman 
I’m a C21st feminist who’s not been an active feminist for long. I haven’t read any feminist literature yet and I don’t know the difference between the different types of feminism. I’m a feminist because I believe everyone deserves equal rights and to be treated with equal respect regardless of race, religion, sexuality, gender and any of the many things that make us all unique. But I’ve found that 90% of the time, I’ll tell someone I’m a feminist and they’ll be really surprised and describe this stereotype they had of feminists as being these crazy, man hating, totally unreasonable people who’re oblivious to the hard earned rights women have these days.

Basically that’s a load of rubbish. Feminists are extremely grateful to the mothers of feminism for vastly improving our lives, but the fight isn’t over. Sexism has been around since the dawn of time, it’s completely naive to think that in a mere 100 years it’s been eradicated completely. I’m sure everyone reading this has heard of the Slutwalks taking place all over the world this year. A policeman told women not to dress like ‘sluts’ if they didn’t want to get raped and there was worldwide uproar as people questioned the logic behind this. So if I wear a short skirt it’s my fault if I get raped? Surely actually it’s the rapist’s fault, he’s the one who decided to rape? Is he implying that men are sex crazed beasts that are literally unable to stop themselves raping women? These questions have brought to light how unfairly the law treats rape, the rapist of a women deemed a ‘slut’ will get much less time in prison. You’ll notice I’ve put ‘slut’ in quotation marks, that’s to make you question what a slut even is in the first place. Why is it that if men have multiple sexual partners they’re ‘players’ and their friends all clap them on the back, but if a girl has multiple sexual partners she’s a ‘slut’, where’s the equality in that? As long as you’re being safe and respecting yourself, why shouldn’t you be allowed to sleep with as many people as you want? We call this ‘slut shaming’ and it’s sexist.
Boom, suddenly you get where I’m coming from. Maybe you’re even realising that because you agree with me you’re actually a feminist too. This is just one of the very real issues that women face today and if I had a higher word count I’d tell you about a few more. If you’re interested in hearing more then we meet on Tuesday evenings in the Arts building at 6 and remember. If not then at least pay us the respect we deserve.

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