Feminism of the past has had a bad rep, with associations with dowdy figures such as Germaine Greer, under arm hair and bra burning. Yet scroll up to 2017 and feminism is trending. #feminism has over 4 million posts on Instagram alone. Feminism has never been bigger. So what's wrong with that then?
One of the core parts of feminism is caring, respecting and defending the rights of women of all ages across the globe. I'm not sure an Instagram post in a T-Shirt that says Feminist AF has ever helped anyone. However, what did refuting a bra ever get anyone. Perhaps in 2017 looking like a feminist is more important than actually practising what you preach.
I guess highlighting feminism in this way makes it feel like a fad, a trend that will be dropped as fast as coloured tights - yes The Saturdays, I’m talking to you- feminism should mean more than this. How can a whole generation off fighting boil down to slogan tees and watching the odd Ted talk ??
That being said, this modern strain of feminism has got strong women involved, and maybe give it the depth new feminism needs. One such voice is Emma Watson who has done so much for women, and has been an advocate for feminist values. Yet when it comes to defining what feminism can mean in 2017, Watson has come under scrutiny. Most recently for her so called ’topless' shoot for Vanity Fair. The taste level of the shoot was high yet the comments were so low and only goes to show why feminism is just so important to help women fight for who they want to be in 2017.
Even though feminism is popular, and Watson even more so, she was struck down by the critics, how could a ‘supposed feminist’ want to showcase her body in that way. Feminists don’t do nudity, how can she be a role model ? It seems that 2017 is ruled by paradigms of opposing views that seem to clash, and result in blurred ugly view points.
What maybe we are seeing here is surface appreciation with no real understanding of what modern feminism means. Yes there are negatives that come with some of the more polarising views within the feminist collective however, what advocates like Watson do is redefine and shape what modern feminism means in 2017. It seems what ever a woman does- feminist or not- the world is never in a her favour, whether politically or financially.
So on balance more awareness is good it in terms of development of feminism and will obviously benefit more women than ever. Allowing it to grow and develop, hopefully to the point where we no longer need feminism. However, until then we have strong fighting voices such as Watson getting the message out there. When it comes to slogan tees and surface feminism, like the old adage ‘all publicity is good publicity’ and eventually we should expect a difference to be made, a change in the balance of fortunes. Meaning all women can unite and have each others back, building a stronger community which we need so badly in such tumultuous political times.
So should feminism be fashionable ? I say hell yeah…
This was originally written for Tom B magazine, so for more incredible articles definitely go check them out here ...
Shot by Rachel Pechey
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