Feminism. A feared word that everyone leers over in the modern era, misusing it in rallies and not knowing the true definition of the word. Feminism, as correctly defined by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is “the belief in the social, political, and economic equality of the sexes.” Nothing to do with female supremacy nor the hatred of men as is often misconstrued. Feminism in the new era (to me) is displayed among our young women through support of the fashion industry and has inspired young girls to finally be ‘who they want to be’. Not only this but through recent law changes surrounding sexuality and marriage among those of the same sex, it has seemed to be, more than ever among the young community of men, women and transgender people, that Feminism is the way forward.
Take the recent Dior campaign that was released surrounding National Women’s Day this year featuring a t-shirt printed in bold black writing “WE SHOULD ALL BE FEMINISTS”. The statement fashion piece was valued at £500 and therefore not affordable to many of us commoners! However, it seems to me that the t-shirt began a rolling ball of fashion items all based on Feminism and young people. I have seen tops littered around high street stores, especially those such as Topshop, Primark, and New Look all branded with the words “Feminist” and “Boss Lady” just to name a couple. Sitting on the train the other day I saw a girl wearing one of these t-shirts, she wore it with a pair of blue jeans and Converse, just a simple outfit, with a loud and proud message. It amazes me that Feminism is now a fashionable thing to be and not just something that the older generation shouts about.
Singers such as Beyoncé making use of speeches such as the one quoted earlier from Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie in their music has made Feminism fresh and exciting for the new generation through music, something we all know speaks to young people more than anything.
Another branch of Feministic representation that it is great to see is art. Art for Feminism is no longer about just being explicit by doing what the amazing Stephanie Sarley does by “fingering fruit”, but is instead about showing women to be strong in other ways. I recently came across an article on Facebook that had been put together on boredpanda.com all about an illustrator based in LA called Yaoyao Ma Van As who created a series of illustrations which sum up the magic of living alone. It is amazing as a young woman myself who often feels the sadness and lonely vibes of living without a boyfriend to see someone demonstrate the positives of being a young, strong woman living out dreams alone. I think that’s something that in this society is not only often shunned to the side a little, but something we all forget about and stop being grateful for.
Now, another thing that has developed with Feminism in the modern society is, of course, the contribution to the LGBTQ+ society. I have seen many young gay and bisexual men feel the confidence on Instagram to come out to the public as being transgender or otherwise and feel that they have equality (like women) to wear whatever they want and this is absolutely amazing! Of course, Feminism and LGBTQ+ do go hand in hand in some ways but in others fight very different battles, but it is good to see that young people feel the impact of equality between men and women in society and this can help them with their confidence.
Liberal Feminism is now greatly accepted by both men and women, meaning that people do not just stand up with plaques without shaving their armpits shouting abuse but instead are strong and independent people who are fighting for equality in this digital age. I can’t wait to see how it develops further and continues to attract young men and women to do what they are truly capable of, filling our society with intelligent and amazing young people, soon to be the best influencers of our modern world.
By Emma Reynolds