Being a feminist means believing that women are and should be equal to men in matters politics, social and economic- that’s pretty much the standard definition of being a feminist. To me, being a feminist is more than its definition. It means I, as a woman and as an individual, live the life I choose. I choose to learn, to lead, to do what I love, to inspire and to share those with the world. I am free to be what I want to be.
I believe that women should be treated equally at home and at work. We deserve political, social and intellectual equality. Just because in the past most of women were gatherers that doesn’t mean we cannot be hunters, be team leaders, be champions, or be directors. Every person was born with their own abilities and talents for both men and women, so there is no harm in developing those talents and be the person you want to be whether it’s being an astronaut, an actor, a teacher, a body builder, an accountant, or anything you want.
The stereotypes of being women have been carried out for centuries. Whether we realize or not, we do and say things about them unconsciously. For instance, women suppose to be stay-home moms, women aren’t politicians, women aren’t as strong as men, and many others. A lot of countries in the world still believe and apply these stereotypes, especially in Asia and the Middle East.
I, as a feminist, believe that all people are entitled to freedom and liberty and should never be discriminated by their gender, sexual orientation, skin color, ethnicity, religion, culture or lifestyle. This inequality issue reminds me of the phenomenon song “Imagine” by John Lennon. The lyrics says “Imagine there’s no countries. It isn’t hard to do. Nothing to kill or die for. And no religion too. Imagine all the people. Living life in peace.” This song was socially criticized, in which I think the purpose was positive, though the people back in 70’s weren’t ready for a change of the ideology of equality and living in peace.
Thanks to Margaret Fuller who wrote the book Women in the Nineteenth Century and changed the perspective about men and women, and was one of the most important early feminist works. She argued for equality and women being more self-dependent and less dependent on men. Another feminist figures I am very inspired by is Coco Channel; When women were expected to wear nothing but skirts and dresses, she was the first fashion designer to borrow from menswear for women’s attire when she created her iconic suits. She literally changed the world of fashion and the way women are perceived by the world. Oprah Winfrey on the other hand, rising from poverty, fought for her equality at her job, she became the first African-American woman billionaire. CNN and Time have called her “arguably the most influential woman in the world.”
In the advertising industry since early 20th century from Coca Cola, to Dolce & Gabbana, to Burger King, these advertisers always think that sex sells. When they say sex, this means sexy women. It’s not new things to see sexy women with big breasts or rounded butt featured on print ads or TV commercials. We have probably seen sexy men too, but the numbers aren’t significant. Have we ever thought that seeing these ads and commercials means that we are fine and accept sexual inequality through the media? I would like to emphasize a recent, powerful campaign #WomenNotObjects which shows how wrong the advertising industry has been, using sexy women to sell their products. Well the fact is that a recent study found almost no evidence that violent and sex increased advertising effectiveness.
My point is that men are women are equal and should be treated with equality. Gender is only a part of who we are. Gender doesn’t define me, you or anyone as people. I believe whomever believe this, are feminists. The word “feminist” itself is just a word, and that doesn’t mean it’s limited for women only. For all men in the world, who also believe about equality, you are a feminist whether you entitled it or not. The world has changed in the last century, and it’s about time for everyone to realize that everyone deserve equality in every aspect of life.