U mad? Get the 'F' out

Feminism isn’t what you thought it was.

By Kari Michaels

  • Hospitalizations for little girls with eating disorders went up 100 per cent in the last decade reports the American Academy of Pediatrics.
  • Equal Voice BC reported that women make up 34 per cent (65 out of 192) of the councillors elected in the municipal elections last year.
  • Headline: “British judges free child rapists, say 12-year-old girls ‘wanted’ sex.”
  • Cosmetic surgery increased 446 per cent in the last decade to reach $12 billion in 2010 with 92 per cent of those voluntary procedures (mostly liposuction and breast augmentation) performed on females – some younger than 18.
  • While at a conference, a female cabinet minister from Ontario was introduced by a male cabinet colleague with the statement, “She’s got better legs, what can I say?”
  • The Institute on Gender and Media reports that the female characters in G-rated movies wear the same amount of sexually revealing clothing as the female characters in R-rated movies.
  • In Sweden, 47.3 per cent of national legislators are female, compared with only 21.7 per cent in Canada.
  • In 2006, only 11 or 5.7 percent of the world’s 191 nations were lead by women

Do any of these facts make you feel frustrated, angry, or strike you as being particularly unfair? Do they make you want to turn to the stranger next to you and say “WTF? Did you hear about this?” Do you feel like something just doesn’t sit right about the world being that way?

Then I’ve got news for you my friend, you’re a feminist: a fucking feminist. And we couldn’t be more proud of you. Now you need to feel proud about yourself, own that word, and remember exactly what it means.

Young women tend to say the phrase “I’m not a feminist but…” a lot these days. Usually they are reacting to a situation involving blatant sexism like those listed above. A straw feminist has been created and she was created in an image that most women don’t want to identify with even though they’re agreeing with 90 per cent of what she says.

A feminist isn’t the stereotypical angry, shaved head, militant, ball busting woman with body hair and a bad attitude. She is you, and me, and her, and him; we who believe in a fair world in all our wonderful shapes and sizes, fashion styles and sexualities. We are frustrated that women aren’t taken seriously in the media and that little girls who dream of being the President or a super hero end up believing they shouldn’t be so ambitious.

So you’ve come to terms with being a feminist and you’re wondering what that means. You’re ready to take this badge and wear it with pride. “What’s next?” you ask. Tell your friends to get the “F” out – tell them to raise their feminist flag and join you in the ranks of those of us fighting for a truly equal world. Talk to your friends and class mates about these issues, ask questions and celebrate the diversity in the community. Be bold and don’t accept the world around you for how others construct it, encourage the women in your community to get engaged politically and love yourself for who you are because you are beautiful.

Women Organizing Opportunities for Women is a feminist club at Kwantlen. WOOW aims to challenge generally accepted opinions on gender bias and sexuality and looks to bridge the gender gap by raising awareness of gender inequality and by inspiring women to take on leadership roles.

To join the club email KPU.WOOW@gmail.com, follow our tweets @woow_club and “like” our page on Facebook.