Since the Weinstein allegations, I’ve been thinking about what women empowerment actually means. I think feeling empowered is not just about gender rights, its about the respect you have for yourself and what this means for your career, relationships, friendships and how we have a collective responsibility to be better people.
To me, feminism has always been a part of my life, I’ll always want to be equal and spend my life surrounded by decent people, it doesn’t come down to gender, I don’t think. It should be a universally acknowledged that equality should be a human right.
Don’t get me wrong, I love being a woman but MEN seriously?! All I’m seeing and hearing right now is blatant disrespect. Why? Because we’re women. Its like we’re weaker or something.
I was reading an article on the LA Times, where their title article says that since Harvey Weinstein was accused of misconduct in October, “a powerful person has been an accused every 20 hours”.
The writers have chosen to use the phrase, “powerful person”, over Hollywood person or professional because of the impact it has when you read it.
Most of the Weinstein accusers are famous actors, celebrities who have the power and influence to make people believe them. When you’re just a “normal person” your voice is small and people can “make you go away”, which is something “powerful people” can do. Money talks, I guess.
I completely stand by women like Rose McGowan, I mean I used to think she was the definition of girl power back when she starred in Charmed but, since she’s brought stood up for herself with Weinstein, I’ve been fist pumping her campaign for justice with the likes of her book and Rose army.
I think what’s worrying is there are still women out there who are afraid to say something, too scared to leave someone who’s hurting them (whether thats a partner or friend), you just can’t have that negativity in your life, whether you a person who takes no shit, it really boils down to how much respect you have for yourself, not if you’re a feminist or not.
I remember being on a date once where a guy asked me how I felt about equal pay and when I replied with something along the lines of, “well yeah, I think if you’re doing the exact same job then it should be paid daily”, he flipped. He started chuckling and saying I must be one of those feminists then.
Why? because I want to be paid fairly? Fuck! Its like its not normal to be paid equally or think that you don’t belong in the kitchen. How OUT-DATED is that term!
Surely we’re so into the 21st century that we’re not still identifying as a feminist? I have a pet hate about the word. My issue is,
We’re so dialled up about labels and stereotypes, and not wanting to be divided in “man’s world”, that we’re forgetting it’s all of ours, and we are equal if we believe it. If we start using words like woman and not definitions that set us apart like feminism, maybe one day women and men can have equality.
Within the media however, we the public thrive off of public interest. This is a topic I’m covering within my dissertation, as I feel its something that can be used both for and against equality rights.
If you’re of public interest as a human you’re generally classed as a celebrity, or at least within the celebrity culture you’re influential. Whether that’s what you wear, blog about, talk, work with etc.
For Weinstein, and I’m sure many others, this power derives from the public’s interest in themselves. I’m all about self love but its when you physically put yourself on a pedestal and expect things like that awful recording I heard, where Weinstein is demanding this woman follow him into his room for sex and not embarrass him. He even talks about his family and kids at one point which is just awful!
Anyway, public interest can be related to many things…
This could be their Linkedin profile, their job title, how much they earn compared to you. Its always compared to you and this is important because haven’t you heard of strength in numbers?
The public are interested in people, normal people and are putting their faith in what people say. You can’t be scared to stand up for what is right and there are so many organisations like Woman Kind, who are there to talk to you and advise you and offer you to be part of their community.
Whats important about being a woman, is if you are subjected to acts of violence, sexual harassment, misconduct, rape or any unwanted attention, you don’t stand for it, instead you stand up for your rights, because there ARE decent humans out there, who don’t value you by gender.
My mentor is a guy and he’s been nothing but professional since I met him 4 years ago, and i have so much respect for him and everything he’s putting out in the world.
So I leave this with you, should we stop saying feminist and start saying woman?
Comment and tell me your thoughts or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Happy New Year everyone!