Feminism: Are we there yet?

 For those of you who missed it, March 8th was International Women’s Day and as usual, my Facebook news feed was awash with “Happy International Women’s Day!” and “Do we really need International Women’s Day?” messages. So, do we really need International Women’s Day? Yes. Not only do we need a day to celebrate the amazing things that women have achieved, but we also need it to highlight the uglier side of ‘feminism,’ that rears its head as double standards and occasionally, hypocrisy.

Back in February, ‘Duke University Porn Star’ Belle Knox’s true identity was exposed at her University campus. In an interview for xojane.com, Knox said “I can say definitively that I have never felt more empowered or happy doing anything else. In a world where women are so often robbed of their choice, I am completely in control of my sexuality. As a bisexual woman with many sexual quirks, I feel completely accepted. It is freeing, it is empowering, it is wonderful, it is how the world should be.”

I am an intelligent young woman who believes in gender equality. And I don’t believe that it is fair for women to condemn Page 3 or the porn industry for the simple reason that the majority of women working in these industries are not forced into it, rather they choose to do it out of choice. Apart from benefiting from the millions of dollars that the industry generates, many of them find embracing and expressing their sexuality through these mediums as empowering and liberating- and isn’t that what Feminism is about? Female liberation?

For years, feminists have complained that the Patriarchy has dictated how women should behave and the gender roles they should assume but this is exactly what women labelling sex workers and glamour models as ‘objectified’ or ‘sluts’ are doing.

 

Not only are they dictating what other women should/should not do, they are also reducing women working in these industries to mindless objects by assuming that she has no opinion or choice in what she is doing. This patronising ‘I know better’ attitude held by some feminists, including Femen’s founder Inna Shevchenko, who had claimed “They write on their posters that they don’t need liberation, but in their eyes it’s written “ ‘help me’ ” in 2013, is just as bad as those who label these women as ‘sluts.’ This behaviour does nothing but send out the message that embracing and expressing female sexuality is something to be ashamed about and those who do embrace it, don’t know what they’re doing; a message that would be better suited to 19th century England.