Feminist: The Misunderstood Ones

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It’s about labelling. For me feminism is bra-burning lesbianism. It’s very unglamorous. 

Geri Halliwell

The words of Geri Halliwell clearly depicts the perception of today’s society on feminism, something vulgar and terrible. For a big part of society, feminists are people who not only want equity among men and women but also want more, a female-dominated world. They are short-haired, disgusting lesbians who hate men. That’s why almost no one want to label themselves as feminists. These descriptions about feminism is in everybody’s minds. As a result of “anti-feminist propaganda” which has been conducted for nearly 30 years, the term became a pejorative word. In many TV series, such as Married with Children, feminist characters who contained these cliché properties were used.

Even though, there are people who calls themselves feminist without fear. In one of her interviews, Beyoncé defines herself as a “modern-day feminist”. An important dilemma comes into mind about her at that point whether she is a feminist or she is an enlightened sexist. As Susan Douglas discussed in her article, according to enlightened sexists women “made plenty of progress” and now “it’s okay to resurrect sexist stereotypes”. In many video clips of Beyoncé, it can be seen that she uses her sexuality. After her pregnancy, she tells us in her documentary (http://www.idolator.com/7499632/beyonce-sexuality-liberation-documentary-self-titled) that she worked hard to lose weight and now she wants to show her body. Her body will make other women jealous and make men desire her. This is the exact aim of enlightened sexism according to Douglas. To gain power, they use their sexuality. In Beyoncé example, it is the case.

Maybe Beyoncé isn’t a “real” feminist, but she can be helpful. As being an icon, she has the power to influence people and make them realize that the term feminism isn’t something terrifying. At least she can help the term lose its negative connotation so that people won’t be afraid to accept that they are feminists. Feminists don’t burn bras, they aren’t aggressive man-hating lesbians. All they want is to be equal.

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