I have often wondered ‘who exactly is a feminist’? Thanks to divine providence, coupled with the common sense to interview a lady who wasn’t a man eating lesbian (stereotype 101), I was educated and given the full definition. Shyanne Gilmore, a graduate from the Roehampton University was on hand to enlighten me on the Amazonian cause that has been gaining popularity for more than centuries…
What is a feminist?
My definition of a feminist is a person who wants and fights for equality between the two genders. I find that many people in society have the wrong view of feminists where they are seen as male hating lesbians, or simply male hating women. Like many things in society you have extremism, in this case you can also get extreme feminists who want women to be more equal than men and hate men.
The view that men can also be feminists is arguable as many female feminists feel that men have no idea of the struggles that women have to deal with in everyday life such as being a working mother, maintaining a household as a single mother or even maintaining one as part of a nuclear family where the woman is the main caretaker of the children. It is a harder task for women because women are expected to be able to keep her family together as though it were a god given power. Society, one’s culture and religion have a major part to play in how women are seen and the role they play in it.
What is the position of women in today’s society?
In my opinion women are gaining more control in society but that control remains to be too little. Everywhere you go there are adverts for perfumes or skin products or clothing that enables women to wear figure hugging clothes which allow the woman to hide any extra fat that she may have. Society is putting more and more pressure on women to look a particular way. If a woman is too thin then she is unhealthy and could be anorexic or bulimic however if a woman is too fat then she has let herself go more than she should and is also unhealthy. The majority of the time you see ‘perfect’ women in the media one way or another but the fact that these women are on strict diets, wear too much make up (cake faced) and have been airbrushed does not stop people buying magazines or idolising these women.
The rate at which rapists are convicted is disgustingly low resulting in fewer women reporting a sexual assault. This is because women do not want to take a case further or even report an assault as most attacks take place by someone known to the victim and if a case were to be taken further but with a negative result then the repercussion for the victim could be worse.
On a final note for this question, I believe that women are capable for much more but they need to continue being the feminists that they are.
People need to remember that if it was not for the Suffragettes then women today would not be able to earn a living, join a profession previously given just to men, go out into society as an individual in their own right, cohabit outside of marriage…I’m sure you know the rest. Of course much of this is still a challenge for females in ethnic minorities where a clash of societies takes place for women whose families still live by the norms and values they followed in their home country.
Where do you think women will be in the future?
I can see women having a much bigger and positive role in society if feminists continue to fight and work for their rights. Society should give equal opportunities to both genders and hopefully the future, women’s future, will see this take place.
What makes a good female role model?
A woman who thinks for herself rather than allow a man to think for her. Women have been placed on this earth with the amazing ability to bring more humans into this world and deal with 9 months of pregnancy so this to me is what makes them stronger than men. They are capable of just as much as men, if not more and all they need is the belief in themselves and societies acknowledgment of this.
We live in a patriarchal society however we all know that women are just as important as men and just as capable of taking control in a ‘man’s world’. Artists such as Jessie J, Adele and Leona Lewis are British women who have shown this and use their natural amazing voices when performing. More importantly the Queen shows us that a woman can be just as able as a king of holding down a throne.
All in all, I think people should understand that feminists do not want a man-less world. On the contrary, we want to work alongside our fellow men on an equal basis. Yes men are physically stronger than women and yes women are more emotional but would men really want to be without women and women with men? We need each other and are clearly just as capable of doing each other’s tasks if only given the chance. But be warned, if society will not allow post patriarchy then feminists will ensure that they continue to work and fight hard to gain this equality right.
Want to ask Shyanne questions? A fan? add her on twitter at @Phoenix0020