How many times have you heard that there is no need for feminism in the modern world? Women have the right to vote, financial independence, (almost) equal job opportunities and powerful positions in the government and other institutions. The Suffragette’s have won all they fought for, and a line has been drawn through
‘feminism’ as a done and dealt-with cured ill of our society. So is feminism dead?
I challenge this claim with the proposal that feminism is very much alive, and an essential tool for building a great society even today. Yes, changes have been made. Yes, goals have been met. Yes, norms have been broken and women have been raised up to be more strong, powerful and influential than ever before in the history of gender politics. But, when we look at the content and context of the most powerful women today, is this what those first feminists really wanted?
Sex: that three-letter word that has more power than the likes of words such as ‘peace’, ‘freedom’ and ‘equality’. Sex: that weapon that women have used to manipulate the predatory male into a position of passivity and reliance. Were women really onto something when they discovered the one thing that makes any man weak? Or have they been lulled into a false sense of security, where once again, men have got women exactly where they want them; driving and fulfilling their sexual fantasies?
Let us take a quick look at a few powerful respected women. Carla Bruni, Lady GaGa, Beyoncé, Lady Macbeth, Margaret Thatcher (wait, how did that one get in there…). What do they all have in common? Sexual provocation. These wily women have all used their gorgeous bodies and alluring intimations to get them to the top. But although they’re in the highest places, the men are still looking up their skirts.
Beyoncé is a fantastic example of feminism gone wrong. Feel free to cringe as I quote some lyrics here: ‘if you like it then you should’a put a ring on it’, ‘my persuasion can build a nation, endless power, the love we can devour’ and the entire theme of the song ‘Independent Women’. All of these signify all kinds of independence for women, emphasising the power and strength they supposedly manifest in todays society. These lyrics alone represent the passion behind those very first feminists and the ideals they strived toward. But the reality found in other lyrics such as ‘tonight I’ll be your naughty girl’, ‘I know you want my body’ and ‘ladies let him check up on it’ reveals that women are only powerful when using their sexuality as a manipulative tool.
Feminist fought for freedom, and women having gained this freedom were so bewildered that they didn’t quite know what to do with it. With this newfound freedom of expression, mixed together with male expectations, women easily fell into the bitter cocktail that we are still drowning in today. We have a narrow choice: use sexual appeal to gain a cheated upper hand, or remain a weak, prudish, dehumanised existence. Feminism needs to change this metanarrative, to reconstruct ideologies into realities. Sexualising women is dehumanising. Respecting women for their intellect, passion, and inner beauty, is the first step to bringing true equality.
The power of women needs to be reassessed.
The reality of inequality needs to be reinterpreted.
Feminism needs to be reborn.
This is a call for Renaissance for today’s generation.