Tuesday, January 22

Feminine or Feminist?

First of all: Is there necessarily a difference between those two words? That's the main question here, isn't it? And it was the topic of a blog entry at "The F-Word".

A Feminist, a lot of people seem to think, can't be feminine. But why? Is a woman who wants equal pay for equal work no longer a woman? Does a person who wants to be treated fair have to be a man?

So what is the definition of being feminine then? Not able to think for yourself? Loosing conscience whenever something strange, scary or unexpected happens? Twisting your ankle a lot, because you're always wearing high-heeled shoes? Jumping on a stool whenever there's a mouse or a spider around? All of those things listed are stereotypes, not reality. If you'd ask me, I'd say 'feminine' were the way most women act.

But, as I have written various times already, the idea that a Feminist is not a woman at all seems to be permanently stuck in the heads of some people. So a Feminist can't be feminine and thus everyone who wants to be feminine can't be a Feminist. It's a no-win situation. And it's one of the reasons why so many young women shy away from the label 'Feminist'.

Society, it seems, still deems it uncouth if a woman has an opinion and voices it - sometimes rather loudly. But, on the other hand, sometimes you have to scream to be heard - and what would be the point in saying something which nobody can hear? It would be like sitting on a door in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean after a ship named 'Titanic' hit an ice-berg and then only whistling softly to attract a rescuers attention (and thanks to comedian Mario Barth for this image). There's a chance of one in a billion (or so) to be heard. And if you are an intelligent woman and only voice your opinion very softly, never screaming to overcome the din of - mostly - male voices, your ideas and opinions never will be heard. Or they will only be heard by the man standing next to you who has no qualms of shouting them out and claiming them as his. (And no, I'm not saying all men are like that.)

So what about being a Feminine Feminist? Then you can wear make-up, flirt with men, dress any way you like (even if it means men will ogle you) and at the same time fight for equal rights. Those two options aren't mutual exclusive, you know.

Being like a man to be treated like a man is no solution, but being a woman and at the same time fighting for being treated equal to a man is one.

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