Thursday, 6 December 2012

December 6th: I am feminist. That wasn't hard, was it?

Traipsing back from work with my housemate, we spent our forty minutes together having a nice chat. This is not unusual behaviour, and nor was the content that entailed. Working for a (decent) celebrity magazine, we are used to finding out "the gossip" first and generally not batting an eyelid. However, the information I heard today clearly fell of my radar. I would have punched a hole in my wardrobe otherwise.

"So, Katy Perry scooped the Woman Of The Year Award today," said my flatmate.

"Oh really? I think she seems like a decent sort, I'll give that one a thumbs up," was my response.

"Well, she won the award, and then informed the entire crowd that she definitely wasn't a feminist," explained my counterpart.

"She isn't a feminist?"

The terms Feminism and Feminist may be two of the most misunderstood terms of current debate today. I am undoubtedly, ardently, proudly, unabashedly a feminist. But worryingly, who isn't?

I am an incredibly opinionated individual. Not one to shy away from a debate, I am more than happy to stick up for and promote my beliefs wherever possible, both in my public and private sense of lifestyle. Once receiving a series of emails emblazoning me as an "embarrassment" to my student paper when referred to as "our staunch feminist editor", I have even been subject to one malicious individual's perversions to "try and piss that feminist bitch off" in seminars when I wasn't even aware of his name. But this is where I struggle. I believe in equal rights between men and women. This should not be a groundbreaking concept in a purportedly democratic society. Not one to go and impose my opinions on others, I am still amazed on a daily basis at to how many people I am acquainted with who shirk off the label "feminist". Are they confused? Are they ashamed? Where on earth did the meaning of the word "feminist" go wrong?

She may be held accountable to her recording label's big guns, but Katy Perry is not one to shy away from expressing her opinion. After hearing her on the One Show talk incessantly about her love of meat and lack of comprehension of vegetarianism, I believed that the singer was not one to shy away from offering her opinion. Rather than advocating, considering or not even mentioning the cause, the singer decided to offer her outright disapproval of equal rights between men and women. Upon denouncing it to her public, the singer promoted the idea to thousands of her fans that equality Is A Very Bad Thing. As well as leaking that pungent sentiment in the same air space as her fan base, Katy basically negated the movement that allowed her to be onstage in the first place.

For those who are interested in human rights 101, I have provided an apt and official definition of the term below. Cheers for making us feel like a plastic bag Katy.


The advocacy of women's rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men.

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