March 05, 2010

"This is a revolution,not a public relations movement."

as someone who has identified as a feminist from a very young age (when i was in pre-school, a friend's mother nicknamed me Hilary. it embarrassed me then but i now relish it) i never understood the reluctance of some young women to identify as a feminist. I always took it as a compliment! However, because of the negative connotations the media has associated with feminism (ugly, man-hating, hairy-legged bitches/hags) young women are reluctant to say they are a feminist, even if they agree with all the ideas of feminism.  And they do. According to Gloria Steinem: 
"Every feminist issue has majority support in public opinion polls, and the word 'feminist,' even with no definition, causes at least as many women to identify with it as with the word "Republican"—about a third in both cases. With its dictionary definition, more than 60% of women identify with 'feminist' and, when they are measured, more than half of men"
That's a majority!! and that's why the right works so hard to discredit feminism and discourage young women from supporting it.  When Rush Limbaugh says "feminism was established to allow unattractive women easier access to the mainstream." He isn't saying it because it's true (have you seen Gloria Steinem? Jane Fonda? Jessica Valenti? they are babes.) He is saying it because we live in a culture where a woman's worth is dependent on her looks and being considered attractive (her sexuality).  What better way to keep young girls away from a revolutionary movement than to associate it with something they fear: being considered unattractive.  Then you are able to keep girls focused on being attractive instead of the issues, keep feminism down and maintain the status quo. The best way to fight this is to ignore it. Fess up to being a feminist. Ignore the stereotypes that say we are man-hating slags.  Be your fabulous, feminist selves. and if that fails, fuck 'em. Remember: 
"this is a revolution, not a public relations movement"

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