I don’t enjoy being optimistic about social issues. Isn’t that sad? It’s because as soon as I tend to see some positive change, it is immediately counter acted by something negative. As a media student, I get this feeling a lot. Delving deeper and and pulling apart news, television and other formats can be darn right depressing.
I don’t like this feeling of pessimism, recently i’ve been trying to see the silver lining, the break in the clouds, grasping onto any kind of rosy outlook possible, With this new lease of life, i’ve been pleasantly surprised.
Feminism is an issue I am incredibly passionate about. Equality in general should be a basic human right, however, sadly we live in a world of consistent hierarchy. This causes gaps and inequalities in class, gender race. (to name a few) It’s a real crisis, and one that sadly isn’t mentioned enough in mainstream media. Human interest within the media has to be an event, a debate, something that will pull in ratings and large interest. This means a lot of issues of real importance slip under the radar for not being ‘glitzy’ enough to put on our screens. Gender equality is going to be a rough ride, and there is so much change that needs to happen it seems scary, and this fear can sometimes lead to wondering if it will ever happen and if there is any point in fighting. But this fear needs to be abolished.
At the end of 2014 a lot of attention was being poured into gender equality issues. For example, videos capturing the ignorance and disgust in cat calling, a lot of press about gender segregated toys, and products in general and big names in the media being more outspoken than ever about the issue. So maybe 2015 is the year where we can see some even more change.
Alongside the fear, comes the idea that feminism is a dirty word. At times I have posted on social media I constantly get comments like “..the word is tied to men – haters and a flawed ideology” (an actual comment from my Instagram page) Where does this disgust from the word feminism come from? As with everything in the world, there are extremes, and extremes are always what are focussed on. Because the extremes seen to have more of a story, excitement or even ‘drama’. So you can have one person out of a thousand who speaks an idea, and that is what will be focused on. Women are a minority, so of course it is understood that there can be some residual anger towards men. But that is one persons opinion, not the definition of feminism. The anger against men is something I find rare with a lot of feminists I know, putting all men into a box of similarity is wrong, as is exactly what we are fighting against for everyone.Also, feminism isn’t just about men and women. it incorporates all the sub categories as well. For example – Gay men and women, trans men and women and men and women of an ethnic background. All of this things are something that have to also be accepted to progress with gender equality.
The media obviously pays a massive in spreading the word, it is ubiquitous, and in that sense we learn to accept certain views and values that are framed by them. The media can be our enemy and our friend. But now a multitude of men and women are coming out and talking about feminism and how it’s okay, more than okay, amazing and something to be excepted worldwide. Taking for example Emma Watson who did an amazing speech at the UN for HeForShe which is a ‘solidarity movement for gender equality’. She has an amazing platform for being so high profile and has spoken out globally about a cause that is so important which is beautiful.
Men with this global platform have also spoken about the issue, including John Legend and Joseph Gorden-Levitt. This is an amazingly massive step because not only are people talking about it at large, but people who others aspire to like actors and musicians. Because sadly, people who are just as passionate about it, can’t always have the spotlight to get their points across.
This wonderful and empowering movement is growing, and with its growth it is becoming stronger. I believe this year there could be some real significant change within feminism, and with this, hopefully change will happen for all human equality. (Fingers Crossed.)