Since some time ago, Gender Inequality has been an issue that has really caught my attention. Even though these are issues present in society since long time ago, they are the type of issues people do not talk about anymore. In my opinion, this is due to the easiness of falling into a mindset, in which, one thinks there are no gender preferences anymore. It is very easy to fall into believing that, Gender Inequality is an issue that belongs to the past and society has already figured it out.
When I learned about the term feminism, I got as many bad reviews as I got good ones. I did not quite understood why. I still don’t really understand why this word ‘feminism’ brings up so many issues and hatred. The concept of feminism seems to be complicated nowadays. People often thinks that if a woman describes herself as a feminist, it is because they hate men. If you are a male feminist, then somehow, that makes you less of a man or less than men.
The truth as I see it, it’s that, the term feminism should be a synonymous of gender equality. And.. surprise surprise, its core meaning actually describes it as so.
I was aware of this issue since not as long as I should have been. Thus, I had never thought on defining myself as a ‘feminist’ before and to be honest…..I hesitated on deciding to do so. Now that I am aware and better informed, I am proud to say: I AM indeed, a feminist. Let me clarify this: I believe in the social, economic and political equality of sexes. I am not man hating and I do not believe women are better than men. I simply believe that your sex should not limit you on doing something. I am a feminist in the sense that, men and women on every level should be treated equally.I am a feminist because, I support the rights and equality of women. I believe these are not only women’s rights, but human rights.
‘It is time that women’s rights are human rights’ – Clinton, 1995
So call it whatever you want, womanism, feminism, gender equality. Somehow all this dialogue about the right word to describe themselves, makes people deviates from what is really important. It is not the word that is key, but the concept behind it. A concept in which, a dad is able to get a paternity leave, which is as good as a maternity leave. A concept in which, women are paid the same as men, for the same job. A concept that gets rid of stereotypes and lets both, women and men, define and express themselves for who they are, instead of what they should not be, depending on their gender.
I was contacted by Daniel Sheehan some time ago, he told me about this campaign called Femimen, you can read more about it here, I thought a post about this issue was long overdue on my blog. It is an important issue and I decided to take this opportunity to speak up and express my opinions on this subject.
Burke once said: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men should do nothing.”
This an issue in every country in the world, let alone every industry… and the Fashion industry is not an exception.
Feminism and Fashion
Fashion is regarded as a liberal industry, in which factors such as gender, race and sexuality, shouldn’t be a problem. It seems as if this industry has not criticism towards these factors and openly accepts them. However, there are many articles and videos out there proving the opposite. Many icons of this industry have come to publicly accept that these ‘liberal’ perceptions are all wrong. So..It is no secret that we still have a long way to go in this industry.
Fashion is a powerful industry and it has a huge voice. I love fashion, it is such a big passion of mine but, I recognise that as liberal as this industry might seem, it is not quite there yet. I hope the industry uses its voice and influence to create awareness on issues that matter.
I have big ambitions when it comes to feminism, especially in such influential industry as the fashion industry. This huge voice should be used to empower men and women equally, influencing society to widen their beauty standards and be more accepting of diverse bodies, ethnicities and gender expressions. People comes in different shapes and sizes, they belong to different races and have different sexual orientations… and that’s alright! We need to leave stereotypes in the past in order to move forward.
Some campaigns out there tackling this issue are:
Femimen, Daniel Sheehan
#HeforShe, launched by Emma Watson (UNWomen) you can make the commitment by signing in on the website.
Not-there, No ceilings by Clinton Foundation
a funny video by Huffington post on feminism and its true meaning “Hating men and being a feminist are actually NOT connected at all. Not even a little bit.” watch it here
A great inspirational and informative video, I came across while doing my research on this topic, was an interview between Emma Watson and Gloria Steinem. Shockingly, it only had around 28,000 views at that time. Click here to watch it.
Vogue, also made a video in collaboration with Emma Watson to support #HeforShe, the video features remarkable fashion designers such as Stella McCartney, Jonathan Saunders, Erdem Moralioglu and Bella Freud discussing their views on (yep!) feminism. You can watch it here.