Athena juggles blogging, running her new jewellery business AND studying a Masters in addiction! She's a great friend and has always been a massive supporter of women. I think you will agree that she knows what she is talking about when it comes to feminism.
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"To me.. the term feminism refers to a political movement.
It is the fight against gender, as a determinant of supremacy.
The term also serves as a powerful and constant reminder of those before us - strong, brave women who have fought tirelessly in a bid to provide us (literally you and I, and our daughters to come) with the ascendancy and opportunity that only a short time ago, seized to exist.
From the age of 3, I have been raised by my 82 year old Nan - the wisest and most compassionate person I’ve ever known. So it probably comes as no surprise that I’ve naturally been exposed to stories of suffragettes and other heroes who’ve helped shape the female friendly world we know today.
As it currently stands, feminist beliefs are enacted and interpreted in many different ways. But at its core - feminism recognises how women (since the beginning of time) have been disadvantaged by traditional gender roles, stereotypes and expectations. Some of these gender stereotypes are so ingrained and deep-rooted, that it’s actually quite easy to assume that they’re inherent in biology. Although it is absolutely paramount that we remember how socially-based these ideologies really are. And what’s more - women are NOT the only people to be negatively impacted by our highly gendered society.
As there is alotttt of misconception surrounding the true meaning of feminism along with the motives behind its movement, I deem it completely necessary to point out that ‘feminism’ does not mean the rise of women and the fall of men - in ANY way, shape or form. In fact, and although feminist advocacy is primarily focused on the rights of women, many feminists argue for the inclusion of men’s liberation within its core aims and objectives - which has my support 1000%. Men are not exempt from the effects and harms that are a direct result of traditional gender roles. We are fighting for equal rights of the sexes. We are fighting for equality that is to be guaranteed regardless of age, gender, race, nationality, socio economic status or sexual orientation.
In short - feminism simply means equal rights and equity across all areas such as; education, occupation, pay and sexual health (i.e abortion). Aka BASIC human rights.
Feminism means inclusion rather than exclusion. And is not about rejecting stereotype-associated behaviours altogether. For example - being a stay at home mum who shaves her legs does not make a woman any less of a feminist. The movement of feminism is about escaping constraints - not enforcing new or existing ones. FREEDOM and CHOICE is the art of being free to choose from an endless array of options, regardless of whether some of those options do include elements of a perceived stereotype.
Although gender inequalities are to a lesser degree now than they were, it is sooo important that the oppressed stand united. One woman’s success is a success to be celebrated by all women everywhere. Stay mindful of the fact that we’re in this shit storm together, therefore may as well love and uplift the absolute fuck out of each other."
I would love to hear about what feminism means to you, if you would like to contribute to this discussion as a guest blogger please contact by email at firstname.lastname@example.org