Recently it seems Feminism is in vogue. Even though I am a feminist almost since I can remember (I have had quite a revolutionary mind since childhood), I must confess I have mixed feelings about this.
I do feel very happy that women’s issues are back on top of the table. When Emma Watson became ambassador in the UN for Gender Equality, launching the HeForshe initiative, I couldn’t be more excited. Finally, gender inequality was again in the spotlight. Other celebrities came to public proclaiming themselves as feminists, amongst them, men.
I think this is great. I love how Emma Watson has been using her influence, her power in the media to make people aware of this issue, to change minds and open new ways of thinking about this. But, I mean, Emma Watson is amazing. She’s becoming the feminist icon of our time.
And, again this is great. It is a relief for me that Feminism is being explained and defined about what it is, and it shows the huge amount of misconception there is in society: that feminism is man hate spread by “non-feminine” lesbian women. That’s not the truth. Feminism is not about hate, is not about women having more rights than men. Feminism is about gender equality. Most of all is about giving the freedom to anyone from any gender to be who they want to be without judgement. Is about blurring the lines defining what’s masculine and feminine. It’s about having the right of choice.
I am really, really grateful that this is being spoken and discussed in the public space, wide spread throughout the Internet.
And now my Facebook newsfeed is filled with feminist book recommendations, catchy titles like “ten books women should read before turning 30”. Feminist themed clothing has been part of several collections.
I think this is all pretty cool. What I don’t like is the looks of it: it is as if Feminism has become some sort of trend. As if it is fashionable. Being a feminist is being part of cool and popular kids, is something that we need to show off.
But this is so utterly wrong.
Every fashion, every trend, as a quick expiration date. But Feminist doesn’t.
Feminism is not a trend, is not something as superficial as that. It is much more deeper. It is a fight that many started towards equality. It is to believe that men and women from any culture, race and religion deserve equal civil rights. The problems that made feminism born are not a fashion. They never went away and they are far from disappearing.
So this is what worries me. Is feminism now fashionable because such a pretty, famous woman, adored for so many, started to fight for it? Do the newly proclaimed feminists actually believe in feminism? Or do they just want to wear the sweater to look smart and cool?
This takes me to my other point: Fashion reflects times and ideals, as I’ve always defended, Fashion is a reflection of myself. My style, my daily outfits are part of who I am and in some way they show who I am and want be perceived. Therefore, nothing against nice t-shirts and jumpers defending Girl Power and subtitling the individual as a Feminist. Quite the opposite, I think that’s pretty awesome. Again, Fashion is a portrait of times.
The only thing I want to remark here, Feminism is not a fashion. Let’s just say, it’s more like a style. It never fades away. It is a classic, because it is intemporal, as it should be.
Let’s continue to fight for gender equality and to educate ourselves on it. Is something I carry as a duty – we owe it to the ones that have in the past conquered so much for us, nd it is also something we owe to future generations.