The Vixen Thinks: A Love/Hate Relationship With Feminism (Part 3)

The Vixen Thinks is an almost weekly feature on this blog. Posts vary in topic, I'll talk about anything I have an opinion on! From blogging to relationships to feminism and anything beyond. If there's anything you'd like me to write about, feel free to get in touch: theglittervixen(at)gmail(dot)com! Thank you!

So, here we are, at the end of my mini Vixen Thinks series about me and my attitude towards feminism. Part one can be found here and part two can be found here. In these previous posts, I've spoken about why I have a problem with associating myself with the word feminist. I've spoken about "Tumblr Activists" who end up alienating more people rather than furthering any good cause. I've spoken about how I think people are focusing on the wrong issues. Yet, I began this series talking about how I am a feminist. So far, I've seemed a little anti-feminist. Today I want to talk about why, despite all my issues I've previously discussed, I still feel feminism is absolutely relevant in today's world.

First of all, it's hard to be proud of how far women in England, where I live, have come over the years when I'm fully aware that there are women all over the world who don't enjoy anywhere near as many rights as I do. You can't truly want equality if you're only bothered about you yourself - the plights of other women around the world must bother you. Saudi Arabia is one of the more well known examples of this. Contrary to popular belief, there is actually no law against women driving in the country but it is such a strong social taboo that women have ended up in prison for it. This is just one example of how women in other countries are still very much second class citizens and sadly I'd say this is one of the lesser extremes to which women are discriminated against around the world. While I definitely don't believe these countries need us Westerners to jump in and solve all their problems as these women are perfectly capable of creating change for themselves, I still support these women in their efforts to achieve equal rights and because I want women all round to world to be on equal standing with men, I call myself a feminist.

Of course, there are still issues closer to home that cause me to stand by the label feminist. I touched briefly upon this in part two when I spoke about rape culture. To me, this is one of the biggest problems both women and men face in this country today. The patriarchy hurts everyone: I am not anti men, I want everyone to be considered equal regardless of gender and this means I recognise the way in which men are harmed by narrow views of sex and gender, not just women. There are people out there who can explain rape culture and victim blaming far better than I can, and Google should point you in the right direction. To summarise though, rape culture is a culture which excuses rape, it blames the victims, it is a culture which sees victims of a horrible and violent crime have to endure endless "jokes" about the things they went through. I shouldn't even have to write about why this is so problematic. A victim is not to blame for the crime that happened to them. People who commit a crime should be punished for their crime; whereas the majority of rapists aren't.

As I said though, rape culture doesn't just hurt women. Rape culture assumes all men are potential rapists. If I were a man, I'd be insulted by the idea that I am incapable of controlling my sexual urges yet this is exactly what rape culture assumes. The person who is raped is to be blamed because they dressed provocatively enough that the rapist just couldn't control themselves. Nah, it's not right is it? Just as women have stereotypes to fight against, so do men and therefore feminism still has a purpose in this world.

Last year I wrote an extended article on why feminism is still relevant today, you can find that by clicking here.