Think of feminism. What are you picturing? Bras on fire, and women shouting that they don’t need a man? Well a lot has changed since the 1970’s, but the principles are still the same, and whether you want to a successful career or to be a stay at home mum, that’s your choice. The fight isn’t really over, though, as sexism sneaks back even slyer than before. So it’s time to raise the flag for women, and make our new rules of feminism!
1. We Don’t Need Men
Part of feminism is acceptance, so why are women who choose to be single still looked down on? This is an issue that’s particularly close to my heart. I recently met up with a best friend from school, who I hadn’t seen in a few years. Last time I saw her, she was happily married, and excitedly planning her life with her man. Now, she’s divorced, and not at all interested in men. “I still look, and I still enjoy men’s company. As for getting emotionally involved? It wouldn’t be fair. I’m not ready, and I’m not healed. I’m happy just being me.” So why can’t other women accept that? From her mum to her friends, everyone is questioning her, and constantly setting her up on dates. Why? We still can’t see a world where a woman can choose not to have a man. “A woman need a man like a fish needs a bicycle”... I think they got it right. Men are lovely, and I wouldn’t give mine up for the world, but the women who do? Kudos to them.
2. No Violence
Domestic violence is a still a very real problem, and whether the victim is male or female, it’s not something we should be putting up with. So, it’s another new rule of feminism. Know how much you are worth, and don’t let anyone question it. Don’t let anyone make you feel worthless, and don’t let anyone assault you. It’s easier said than done, but it’s also easier to walk away the first time. Have an emergency plan, someone to call and somewhere to go, and don’t think twice. It doesn’t matter how sorry he is, or how he promises they’ll never do it again. You are worth more.
Women have enough on their plate, without other women making their life harder. Do you remember at school and college, how when you had an argument with someone, someone would always tell you that you’d grow out of it, it’d blow over, and it doesn’t happen in the real world? Well, that same behaviour is alive and kicking in the big girls world, too. The pretty girl studying health and beauty? Well, you could dislike her on principle, or you could befriend her, and have someone with great advice, and great make up! Jealousy is a big problem... rather than hating the person, utilize their knowledge of whatever it is you are jealous of. It’ll make you a better person.
This is the most scary prospect about feminism, but it’s also the most valid. Think about it. You are your own person, and you deserve to be able to make your own decisions. That doesn’t mean you have to be on your own... it means that your partner should allow you to do what you like, on your own terms. Women don’t need to be controlled... just look at Lady Gaga. On stage, she’s independant, sassy and sexy, and full of confidence. Off stage? She’s in a relationship with a man who clearly cares about her a lot, and even follows her round the world to keep her happy. That’s love, and real love allows you to have some independence, and to choose your own next steps.
5. Feminist Freedom
The big difference between old feminists and new feminists is this... the freedom of the feminist to choose what they want. We aren’t pushing for women to be allowed in the workplace, and we don’t see stay at home mums as the enemy. 2010 Feminism allows women to be what they want... so if you want to smash the glass ceiling, that’s fine, if you want to work part time and have no children, that’s fine, and if you want six children, and to stay at home making cakes, that’s fine too.
The last rule of feminism is to enjoy other feminists. And that’s all women, not just the ones who actively promote feminism. Go to a girl's night, listen to female singers, watch movies directed by females, vote for females in awards. Celebrate what the rest of womanhood is up too. After all, if we want to be appreciated, we have to appreciate each other!
Feminism is something every woman should have an interest in. Forget bra burning and mantras, and the trademark butch women, it’s now about independence, appreciation and confidence, and they are traits all women need. It’s also not anti man, which means we can all fight the cause together. Men and women deserve a better world, and this is one step towards it! Have you got another new rule of feminism, or an opinion on these ones? I’d love to hear it!
Top Photo Credit: Teo-T