I love guest post here at Big Fashionista, ESPECIALLY when they are as brilliant as this.
I agree with so much of what Halima from www.fashioncide.com says here, and I know we would both love to hear your opinions on her views.
Let us know.
Big Fashionista x x x
Where's the Sisterhood At?
The word 'Feminist' or 'Feminism' is often succeeded by a bit of a groan, or preceded by a derogatory adjective or two. But it really shouldn't be that way, after all if you check out the dictionary it defines Feminism as:
“The advocacy of women’s rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes.”
Doesn't sound altogether unreasonable does it? It would be very easy to blame the negative connotations attached to Feminism completely on our Male friends, but I don't think it's quite as simple, or constructive at all, to point the finger of blame squarely in a man's face. No, I think the blame lies with females. Not all females of course, most of want equality for the sexes but we all tend to act on that in different ways.
That in itself is no bad thing, but there is a bit of a poison running straight through the heart of global sisterhood and it threatens to derail our bid for equality. Before I talk about that though, I think it's important to clarify that while progress has been made on gender equality, there is an awful long way to go on that front. One of the most commonly talked about measures of this is of course the gender pay gap, this article in the Guardian from 7th November 2013 highlights the fact that gender is a discriminatory factor in remuneration.
The gender pay gap is a 'hard and fast' measure of the inequality women face in today's world, yes thatis 2013. The more important measures to me are a lot softer, and a lot more difficult to quantify beyond doubt. How one goes about doing that for things like 'Is my opinion in the workplace respected?' or 'Do I feel safe enough to go out alone late at night?' is beyond me. Personally, it'd be nice to know that women are paid the same as their male counterparts, but I'd much prefer the knowledge that it'd be safe to go out at night, that I could speak up in the workplace, that women's semi-naked bodies are not used to sell toilet seats.
Back to the topic at hand, what's this poison I'm talking of? Envy, or Jealousy. Call it what you will. I'm talking of jealousy between women, not jealousy of how good men have it in today's world. No, I mean sisters being jealous of their fellow sisters. How is this poisoning the feminist movement? I hear you ask. Well consider this, what does jealousy lead to? It can lead us down one of several paths, dangerous paths that only cause damage to our cause.
One path this can lead us along hurts individuals, where the jealous woman tries to bring the other down a peg or two, to ruin her confidence, to ostracise her, to destroy her. This can happen to any of us and without warning. Women turning against other women, instead of directing their ire to the injustices we face in society every day, they turn against their own as a short-term fix for whatever woes they experience.
To those women I ask:
“How can we ever hope to defeat the injustice of a male-dominated society, if we are too busy fighting amongst ourselves?”
With great difficulty.
So why do some women resort to this? Well, they are either blind to the injustice or they are too weak and impatient to fight it, instead focusing on a more achievable aim of destroying a single person, as opposed to working towards cultural change. I should know, I've been on the receiving end of this kind of vile behaviour recently and it's actually flabbergasting the lengths to which these individuals resort in order to hurt their fellow woman. They are like vampires that feed on confidence and vibrance, attempting to suck the very life out of you.
The woman that targeted me started off nice enough but began to become just a bit too comfortable with me revealing some dark personality traits, a tendency for violent aggression when she didn't get exactly what she wanted, a self-centred view of the world and a deep, penetrative jealousy. As I began to earn more success, she stood still and this was evident in her attitude towards me. Ignoring me, acting as if she didn't know me, excluding me yet at the same time emulating me, trying to be more like me.
It was venomous, so I questioned her and the reaction was harsh, abrupt and unwilling to self-evaluate, turning it around as if I were the evil one and she were the poor harmless victim. Then she began talking about me behind my back, spreading lies and rumours about me. Trying to ruin me, trying to destroy me. Where's the sisterhood, what sort of world are we in where women can't be civil or respond in an adult manner with each other?
That leaves the other path, and this path is the one that harms feminism the most. This path takes us down the path of competition, competing with our sisters to outdo each other. Competing to hog the limelight. Competing to show that 'I'm a more hardcore feminist than you'. Competition in itself is of course no bad thing, but it's a decidedly masculine quality to allow competition to rule our very being.
The first problem with such fierce competition is that it takes our focus away from the end goal of gender equality, instead focusing on beating each other, and the second problem is that it de-legitimises our own cause. This is what causes people to put those derogatory adjectives in front of Feminism or to groan after it. It gives anti-feminists ample ammunition to dismiss our cause or even flat out deny that sexism even exists.
The truth is, sexism does exist. The greatest enemy of equality whether that be gender, colour, creed, age, disability, nationality or otherwise is the white man. The white man rules this world with an iron fist, and the best way to maintain power is by using divide and conquer tactics. It prevents the oppressed majority from joining forces to defeat the oppressing minority, and flicking back through the annuls of history show us how devastatingly effective this has been, and continues to be.
If we are to achieve true equality with our male counterparts, we need to stick together. We need to eradicate the jealousy, the hatred and the competition within ourselves and take that fight to those that seek to dominate us. Otherwise, we'll continue to be objects to be used and discarded as and when men feel like it.