“Feminism is about having a choice. It’s not a stick with which to beat other women. It’s about freedom, it’s about liberation, it’s about equality. I really don’t know what my tits have to do with it.” ~ Emma Watson
In a time where feminism is being redefined daily, perhaps, like me, you’ve had the following questions run through your mind:
Do I really have to grow out my armpit hair?
Can I be a feminist and still want to get married and take my husband’s last name?
Can I be a feminist without striving to be a She.E.O.?
Do I have to make more money than my male partner?
Can I be a stay-at-home mom and a feminist?
Can I be openly sexual and still be taken seriously?
I believe these questions are indicative of how much further we have to go in the fight for equality. And the real question is: Why does this battle have to be fought in the very way that it began—with masculinity and aggression?
Why do I still have to justify how I choose to dress or how I choose to share my sexuality? Why do I still have to explain that lasering off my damn armpit hair is a choice?
Why can’t we—as women—be exactly who we want to be?
It makes my blood boil under my hair-free skin.
Feminist is no longer a dirty word, but it still comes with its connotations. There is an underlying pressure for women to fight the patriarchy by rebelling against our own femininity and softness. How we define this femininity and softness is completely up to us as individuals, and has nothing to do with whether we wear clothes from the men’s section or grow out our body hair.
However, I see this pervasive instinct to react from our macho, male energies in order to fight. So many women feel like they need to take back their power, but in the process they are conforming and falling in line with this male energy. Why can’t there be both? Why can’t there be a softness with which women run the world, too?
Why can’t we post photos celebrating our unique, shapely bodies without being labeled as unintelligent? Can’t we just exist—as women, as feminists—and fight for equality in whatever way we choose? Can’t we just be women, without having to justify what kind of women we want to be?
We need women to feel empowered by their sexuality, not limited by it. We need women to celebrate and adorn their bodies however they choose, and not have their character judged because of it—by men or by women.
Because pitting woman against woman is a danger to our fight for equality. We need more women supporting each other’s choices, even if they look different on the outside than what we would choose.
We should not have to justify the personal choices that empower us.
We need a more feminine future, not a masculine future disguised in a dress.
We need a more feminine world, as water always conquers rock.
We need to stand shoulder to shoulder as women—no questions asked.
Author: Annabelle Blythe
Image: Wikimedia Commons
Editor: Nicole Cameron