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Re-Branding Modern Day Feminism

A feminist…

What does really come to your mind when you hear this?

Be honest!

To many, it is a psychotic woman with short hair, who does not shave her armpits nor wears make up; she punches any man who, out of courtesy opens the door or helps her with a coat .

Or is she a “strong, independent woman who doesn’t need no man”?

Look at Beyonce. Does she look like a psycho? I sincerely doubt so. Women want to be her, men want to be with her. . She is a feminist too and an inspiration to so many women and men around the globe.

To many, there are only three prerequisites to be a feminist: you are a woman who hates all men, you are a lesbian or you are well…not very pretty. Or, all of the above.

But is it really true about a modern feminist?

Look, this article is not meant to discuss women’s rights,  inequality of genders nor the domestic violence.  The reality is, the word, the definition of it and the understanding changed pretty damn quick and if you are part of the “many”-I am sorry to tell you, but it seems like you have been living under the rock for the past few years.

To be really honest, I was very skeptical about feminism just few months ago myself. “Thanks to the damn feminists, women have to pay for themselves now ! “- my mum once said.

I was pretty satisfied being a female, living in my own happy little world. Why? I have never felt discriminated against nor harassed. It is probably  because I grew up in New Zealand- the first country to allow women to vote. My real “enlightenment” was an inspirational speech by the amazing Emma Watson at the UN launch of HeForShe Campaign.

A feminist is not a man-hating movement. It is not about shaving legs or having the freedom to  sleep with whoever you want…

So what the heck is feminism??  

fem·i·nism/ˈfeməˌnizəm/noun

 -the advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men.

It is about making the both genders equal.

Equal salaries, equal opportunities, equal treatment, equal freedom.

While many of us accept and welcome the idea of gender equality, we still hate the word. It is uncomfortable. It is… “too strong”. We don’t want to be ridiculed by our friends. And that’s Ok.

 Even Beyonce needed time to announce that she is a feminist

I’ve always considered myself a feminist, although I was always afraid of that word because people put so much on it,” Beyonce says. “When honestly, it’s very simple. It’s just a person that believes in equality for men and women. Men and women balance each other out, and we have to get to a point where we are comfortable with appreciating each other.

A man can be a feminist too. In fact, there are more of them than you think. You might want to ask, why would a man be a feminist? Why on earth would a guy fight for women’s rights?

You do not have to be black to fight for racial equality. You do not have to experience forced prostitution to fight against sex-trafficking. You do not have to be a star to shine bright and inspire other people.

Re-think your understanding and perception of feminism.

You might not like the word, but you have to like the idea behind it.

Follow Gulf Elite’s latest women empowerment initiative on Women Plus.

Picture  Credit: Tumblr.