The Positive Feminist : A Change for the Better
Over the centuries women have made incredible progress in the fight for equal rights, yet we still live in a world where Donald Trump can be president of one of the most powerful countries in the world. We still live in a “nation where women are paid less for the work they do, do more unpaid work, are denied seats at the heads of the largest corporations, are more stressed and are greater victims of harassment” (Jericho, 2015, p. 1). We still live in a world where political leaders openly show contempt for women, rape culture is normalised, pornography is easily accessible, teenage girls are pressured into sexting, revenge porn is an acceptable way to express your dislike of a female, and 70% of girls believe they are not good enough or do not measure up in looks, school performance or relationships.
So now, more than ever, is time for a change. It’s time for the POSITIVE FEMINISTS to stand up and take charge.
Positive = Having good effect
Femininst = a person who supports the theory of political, economic and social equality of the sexes.
A Positive Feminist is a ‘person’ who:
1. Supports and celebrates women and their achievements. Oprah Winfrey, Julia Gillard, Rosa Parks, Cathy Freeman, Constance Hall and Michelle Obama are all strong, fearless women who have accomplished amazing things in the face of adversity. The Positive Feminist acknowledges these women by including them in daily conversations, sharing their achievements on social media and educating the younger generation about their endeavours and triumphs. Our young girls should be exposed to strong women they can aspire to be like and our boys should be exposed to the strong women they can aspire to be surrounded with. Exposure to these women doesn’t just need to be limited to those that are famous but should also include everyday women who are standing strong in their chosen pursuit; whether it be the stay at home mum, the working mum, the scientist, the ballerina, the doctor, the teacher, the grandmother, the policewoman, or the artist. All women should be acknowledged, supported and celebrated for their contribution to the family, society and the economy.
2. Embrace Men. Men are not our enemy in the fight to equality, but rather our greatest ally. Barrack Obama, Steve Biddulf, Prince Harry, The Dalai Lama, Ashton Kutcher are all great men in their own rights and all should be embraced for the part they play in society. Our girls should know that great men like this exist. Our boys should know how a decent men acts. Let’s include men in the fight for equality instead of alienating them.
3. Doesn’t become the person they despise. Donald Trump has become the number one enemy of every feminist on the planet (and rightly so), yet why are we lowering our standards and acting in the exactly the same manner to which we are protesting against? The pictures below are all examples of body shaming, genital humiliation and sexual ridicule in order to make a point about sexism. Isn't this exactly what we are fighting against?
In the words of Michelle Obama, “When they go low, we go high”. The Positive Feminist is always one who rises above this.
4. Always stand up for equal rights. The Positive Feminist will always stand up for their own rights and the rights of others. Being positive doesn’t mean being submissive. Don’t be afraid to speak up. Don’t be afraid to make your point. There is nothing more powerful than an articulate, confident, and well researched woman who can state her case. When you speak up for yourself, you are also speaking up for every other woman in the same position.
If you already are a positive feminist, if you want to become a positive feminist or if you just want to see a positive change in the world, please like, share or comment. The Positive Feminist movement – let’s get the ball rolling!
“Here’s to strong women. May we know them. May we be them. May we raise them” - unknown
Dorey-Stein, C. (2015, September 15). A Brief History: The Three Waves of Feminism. Retrieved from Progressive Women's Leadership: https://www.progressivewomensleadership.com/a-brief-history-the-three-waves-of-feminism/
Heart of Leadership. (2016). Statistics on Body Image, Self Esteem & Parental Influence. Retrieved from Heart of Leadership : https://www.google.com.au/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=statistics+on+teenagers+body+image&*
Jericho, G. (2015, February 27). In most areas, Australian women are getting a much worse deal than men. Retrieved from The Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/business/grogonomics/2015/feb/27/in-any-area-australian-women-are-getting-a-much-worse-deal-than-men
Khadem, N. (2016, March 24). Australian women make 83¢ for every $1 a man earns: report. Retrieved from Sydney Morning Herald: http://www.smh.com.au/business/workplace-relations/gender-pay-gap-20160322-gnp0vy.html
Merriam-Webster. (2017). Merriam-Webster. Retrieved from Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary: https://www.merriam-webster.com/
Wikipedia. (2017, March 16). History of feminism. Retrieved from Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_feminism