By Suzanne MacNevin - September 2010.
FEMINISM - I've been living in Britain for awhile now (on and off thanks to the fact I have dual citizenship) but one of the things I've noticed is that so-called British feminism suffers from a duality of problems.
#1. British feminism has a lot of history and there are a fair number of feminists here who support that history and stand on the shoulders of feminists who have come before them... the problem however lies in that they seem to have lost their spirit and have become more... academic. Its feminist historians arguing back and forth, very little activism.
#2. Girl Power is strong here (Spice Girls anyone?), but its done in a very post-feminist way... ie. they're selling their sex appeal at the same time. Sexy Feminists and Girl Power kind of leaves a bitter taste in your mouth after awhile. (Pun intended.)
I met earlier this week a few feminists from Oxford and I was astonished by how cynical and... for lack of a better word... complacent they were. They didn't think they would see major change in their life times. As one girl put it "its two steps forward and two steps backwards. We're not getting anywhere."
The feeling is that their message isn't getting across to young women out there so why bother trying? I disagree. The problem is that they're promoting the wrong message.
Its a bit like you're trying to sell a car. You don't try to sell the car based on whether you can get to work in it. You sell the car with the lifestyle and freedom that comes with it.
Same thing goes with feminism. Its not about corporate climbing and breaking the glass ceiling. Its a LIFE STYLE of freedom from sexual persecution. A woman's goal should be to ignore love and only pursue her career, the idea is for her to have the freedom to do everything she sets her mind on, whether its career, politics, family, education, hobbies, sports, whatever she wants to do. Her sex and gender should not interfere in those goals.
My advice to the women of Britain, and the rest of the world: Stop thinking of feminism as a means to an ends. Think of it as a philosophy of life and don't hinder yourself based on what people say you can and can't do... because if you choose to have a career AND a family there is no one stopping you but yourself.
Let your heart think big and follow it always.