Feminism is the believe that women and men should be equal.
That’s it. And that is not a bad principle now is it?
Many women fought and still fight for male and female to be on same terms but for some reason, especially in western countries this word „Feminism“ is some totally outrageous, something no woman want to be connected with.
People pretend in our „civilized“ society women and men were on same terms already which actually is BULL SHIT!
Seriously that is not true! Women are still under-represented in almost every facet of live, well except the we traditionally were allowed to enter few spots like child caring, education, or nursing.
In Germany 38% of all representatives in the Bundestag are female, which is quiet a record but really does not represent the amount of women in Germany which is about 50%.
In the UK it’s about 22% in America mere 17% and that is only for the lower or single houses. Most states don’t even have women in higher governmental positions at all (For example Spain) (source: http://www.ipu.org/wmn-e/classif.htm)
So much about the great equality of men and women is so called 1st world countries.
But this is Not because of laws that prohibit women in anyway. No it is culture and after more than 2000 years of oppression of women we can’t expect it to fade away in a few decades. But for it to eventually disappear we can’t just sit back and say „oh we are all equal I don’t care anymore“.
How did I get to do this post. Well due to a video by the gaming idea channel on a woman called Anita Sarkeesia who has a youtube channel called „Feminist Frequency“ where she takes a look at popular culture and talk about it in a feminist way.
Recently she did a Kickstarter Project raising a lot of money for a series called „Damsel in Distress“ where she took a look at the cliche in video games.
Apparently this made it into news and blogs and a lot of people hated her, she got death threads insults, and what not. She has no Comment section on her videos anymore.
Aside for Trolls and haters there are actually a lot valid critiques on her videos (I won’t go into the ‚where did the money go‘ or ‚it’s from Wikepedia‘ discussion here) in forms of blogs and video replies, I even watched a few of those and agree with them in a few point.
I did a few comments about how I though Anita had some valid point even if her way of phasing and even her arguments might not be wholly correct or at least debatable and immediately got into a discussion on how stupid Feminists are and that stating how women are under or misrepresented in popular culture is just nitpicking.
So that is why I write this post.
I don’t want to say what anita said in her videos if you are interested:
But quickly her main point is this: In mainstream video game franchises like Mario women are often reduced to a price for the hero. They don’t develop character have no power and are acted upon. Her main example for this is Princess Peach.
Although this is not wrong if you what the whole series there is much room for justified critique.
She does not simply state an opinion but says it as if it’s a general truth, she gives statistics without any source. She even denies strong female characters like Zelda to be a good character.
So yeah, she is not perfect, who is?
What is most annoying is that she deactivated the comments so you can’t even discuss with her and thus it feels like a statement of hers rather than something to discuss upon, making her seem like a small child drying to want something without listening to anyone.
Still She accomplished something amazing: She was heard! Proabably BECAUSE of this flaws, because people disagreed and hated it she managed to get into the news and opened a media wide argument about womens representation in media and this in itself is something great!
Too many women take what we have got for granted and just overlook how from birth on boys as well as girls are forced into specific gender roles which hinder both to actually be who they are.
Why are less women into maths and science? Not because they are biologically different, but because from birth on they are driven onto a different direction. For all who say that is nonsense just take a look at Children ads for example these two for Lego:
Kids a drilled toward the believe that girls and boys play different stuff and don’t have anything in common funnily enough in the 60s it wasn’t necessarily so:
This is the next step of feminism, we built up a land where it’s technically possible that anyone can be anything whether it’s a stay at home dad or the female physicist, so now culture needs to change accordingly and sadly since the 90s progress as come to a stand still.
So feminists like Anita are actually needed, even if one does not agree with everything, think that she overdoes it at some point e.t.c. it is worth it because it gets the discussion going and people thinking again.
For what is the goal of feminism?
Well it basically would be that gender roles all together seize to exist. that there are as many heroic action women as damsels, and as many princess in distress, as heroes because the pre-existing role models do not exist anymore.
Is that ever going to happen? Who knows? I don’t, if it’s no where soon, but don’t you always need an over the top goal to change anything at all?