In my recent engagement with mass media, Iíve encountered a large focus on feminism, most notable Emma Watsonís life changing speech at the U.N. These interactions have provided me with an awakening into the topic.
To be completely honest, itís not something that Iíve felt passionately about although being a woman, I most definitely should. And after having read a few articles and watching Emmaís speech, I realized that it was something I felt strongly about and I wanted to do something. But first I needed to understand, what does feminism mean to me, what impact can it have on my life, and what can I do to ensure that Iím doing whatís best for the feminist cause?
So I figured I should probably understand what feminism actually means first. I have a pretty good idea but better off not to make assumptions on something so significant. So I went to a trusted source. According to the Oxford Dictionary, feminism is, ďthe advocacy of womenís rights on the grounds of the equality of the sexes.Ē Seems pretty straightforward and I was relieved to find that my assumptions were pretty much spot on.
While the definition seemed very clear, as I started to read more and more about the topic, I realized that feminism isnít just about standing up for the larger idea of womenís rights, itís about standing up for your own rights as a woman as well. Standing firm on your beliefs and ideals and not letting anyone else bring you down. Come to find out, most of the women that I admire fit this feministic ideal. They wonít back down and never let the fact that they are a woman stand in their way of achieving their personal goals.
This research helped me to understand how to embrace feminism in my own life. The reality is, it doesnít mean dropping everything and burning your bra in front of Parliament House. Itís about standing by your beliefs and making simple mind shifts, including:
- Stop Defining Roles by Gender: Iím just as capable of mowing the lawn as my husband, just as he is capable in cleaning the bathroom.
- Stop Using & Accepting Stereotypes: Iíve brushed off comments in the past such as, ďMust be her time of the monthĒ but these are offensive and shouldnít be taken lightly.
- Participate in Organizations and read literature that is empowering and develops to my personal values and goals. Avoid anything that negatively impacts my sense of self and well-being.
- Embrace Who You Are: Donít let outside forces, particularly the news and entertainment media, affect your core values and beliefs. Donít like anyone try and change who you are.
- Love Yourself & Your Body: Just as you are, not thinner or younger.