Earlier in the Summer I read an article in Red magazine and it prompted me to write my own reply and blog post.
It now seems as if the word feminism or feminist is taken by some – or at least David Cameron – in the same way. Our PM seems afraid to say he is a feminist and wear The Fawcett Society’s iconic ‘This Is What A Feminist Looks Like’ T-shirts for ELLE’s inaugural Feminism Issue which has been trending on Twitter since Monday.
As Emma Watson highlighted in her UN Speech Gender Equality is Your Issue Too and the launch of the #HeForShe campaign last month, feminism is defined as “The belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities.”
Is it because the movement for gender equality was originally conceived as a struggle led only by women for women and this is the connotation David Cameron has for the term ‘feminist’?
Would David Cameron have felt differently if it wasn’t a T-shirt or had been approached by a male title or business publication ?
He did offer a quote which glaringly omitted to containing the word feminist or feminism but does support his apparent stance on gender equality.
‘Whether you are a man or a woman, I passionately believe that everyone has a part to play in achieving full equality for women and girls. As a parent I feel strongly that my daughters should have the same opportunities as my son. As a society we have come a long way in gender equality – but the journey hasn’t finished yet, which is why I am committed to doing everything I can do to remove barriers for women and achieve a fairer society.’
Definitions are all well and good and words are subject to society bias and personal connotations but by stepping away from the word feminist I believe he has missed an opportunity to step up in strong but simple support of both men and women. I expected more.
I’d love to know your thoughts and if you need any more inspiration check out the organisations stepping up and calling for gender equality and add your voice to the debate.