Who needs feminism now?

-who-needs-feminism-new-tumblr-promotes-gender-equality-cf9318d9f6A new photo trend sees people all over the world sharing why feminism is important to them.

Feminism brings to mind angry bra burning women with bowl cuts and sensible shoes, but the fight for equality affects everyone, not just those with a vagina.
People have been fighting for equal rights since the late 19th century, yet only 10 per cent of the world’s front page stories are written by women. In the UK today just 18 out of 108 High Court judges are female, three out of the 22 parliamentary cabinet positions are held by women and none of them are mothers.
This shocking lack of women in English politics could be down to the fact that the palace of Westminster is the only major workplace where women have no right to maternity leave. In the commons as a whole, women make up only 23 per cent of the members of parliament, a smaller percentage than both Iraq and Afghanistan.
The dictionary definition of feminism is “a doctrine or movement that advocates equal rights for women”. By this definition “true” feminism isn’t about becoming the dominant sex, nor is it about denouncing men, moving to a women only commune and belittling anyone that wears makeup or wants to be a “stay at home mum”. It is simply defending the power of choice. Or as Susan B Anthony – an American social reformer who played a pivotal role in the women’s suffrage movement said- “Men their rights and nothing more; women their rights and nothing less.”
In this vein, a group of American all-female students have set up the project “Why Do I Need Feminism” which focuses on why actively campaigning for equality is still something that society both needs and wants.
They began by recruiting friends and acquaintances, young women and men from a cross section of races, sexualities and backgrounds. They then captured them proudly holding up whiteboards on which they had written in black marker, “I need feminism because…”
The campaign instantly went viral, with one man stating “I need feminism so that my future daughter will grow up never being limited by the ignorance of society”
The women that started the movement met on their “women in the public sphere” course, they were tasked with a final project with the only guideline being to focus on social change. Their idea was simple, it says on their website “We aim to challenge existing stereotypes surrounding feminists and assert the importance of female equality today.”
They believe that coming from a variety of backgrounds, networks and social groups, has enabled them to connect with a large audience and despite expecting it to stay within the walls of their college it soon exploded all over the internet.
They began on blogging site, Tumblr but the group now has a twitter and Facebook page too, all featuring posters, photo submissions and media news regarding feminism. Many of the comments talk very specifically about things like gender-based violence, gender-based slurs, as well as reproductive freedom.
Laura Kuhlman, a junior at Duke’s Trinity College says that they identified Tumblr, Facebook and Twitter as the main social media sites to concentrate on early into the project. “As college students, these are the platforms we use most frequently and we knew that we’d get an expansive reach. We initially thought Facebook would serve as our main source of promotion, but the Tumblr has really taken off,” she says.
The Facebook page has almost forty thousand likes, over two thousand follow the cause on twitter and the official Tumblr has been accessed by people in at least 3,509 different cities and has earned over 50,000 page views.
The campaign first spread through America with various universities having their own ‘WNF’ Tumblr or Facebook page with thousands of people submitting their photos.
One man from Cambridge wrote “I need feminism because it’s obviously wrong for the world to be run in favor of half the world’s population”
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However it has resulted in a backlash with people using the tag to explain why they in fact do not need feminism as well as sparking debates such as “is feminism the best term for general equality anymore” both men and women are using the WNF tag to share the reasons they believe feminism is a redundant concept with some arguing that feminism isn’t all encompassing enough.
This subsection argues that women already have equal rights and the focus should be directed towards the abolishment of genders in general. One woman from America writes “I don’t need feminism because I think women are equal” others include “Because I don’t hate men” and “because I like wearing makeup”
It seems that this project has been more successful than anyone could have anticipated. The differences in opinion have only served to deepen the newly aired discussion surrounding feminism.
The unexpected success of the campaign speaks for itself with the differences in opinion only serving to deepen the discussions surrounding femininity, equality and everything in-between.

Is feminism something you or the women around you still need today? Vote below!

About catharsisforbegginers

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