(I have never had a hashtag as a title before – I feel very modern)
I am a feminist. Have been since I can remember (much to the chagrin of way too many people) from when it was this very, very evil concept. Of course there are still some idiots out there who think it’s the devil incarnate but without a shadow of a doubt, feminism has become popular. It’s almost verging on the mainstream. You have Beyonce using Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s words on feminism in Flawless and have the word in massive on stage with her, Emma Watson with her #heforshe, Laura Bates and Everyday Sexism, and countless other things – both large and small – which are fighting the ridiculous status quo.
Now I don’t think feminism needs rebranding because it is all kinds of perfect as it is. I don’t think it’s too shouty or too angry or that it’s all about hating men. For the first two I personally think that you haven’t seen the level of anger we can reach and as for the latter that has always been the myth hasn’t it? This strange, bloody annoying myth that won’t go away – mainly because it’s very easy to dismiss feminists has men hating angry females.
Being a feminist gives me and everyone else the choice to do non-feminist things and while I think fashion is a very female oriented industry, full of powerful and influential females, and female consumers are exercising their feminist right of choice by shopping, many people don’t. Many people argue that fashion is created by men for the pleasure of men and constricts and represses women. I think fashion is fun and frivolous and very, very serious. I don’t think it represses consumers and I think consumers (male and female) are smart enough to know when they are being discriminated against.
This is why I love fashion and clothes and everything they represent – it’s self-expression and sometimes even self-worth in an outfit. I am always on the lookout for pieces of clothing and accessories which represent my political leanings and the one I most want to shout about is my feminism. I don’t know if I want feminism to become mainstream – if it does, does that mean the message will be diluted and forgotten? But if it becomes mainstream it’s in everyone’s consciousness – it’ll become normal. So if I use my body to make feminism mainstream am I being a feminist or using the choice feminism has given me to be non-feminist?
I’m thinking about this because I saw Elle magazine’s #ellefeminism campaign (the want to rebrand the term and my feelings on that are above) but I loved their recent partnership with Whistles for The Fawcett Society, the UK’s leading charity for women’s equality and rights. They have created a collection of clothes and accessories with the words ‘this is what feminism looks like’ on them and I love it.
I haven’t been able to find out more or see any more pieces from the collection yet but hopefully before it goes on sale we will all be able to see exactly what will be on sale. The collection goes on sale on the 20th of October.