Why Do We Hate Feminism?

Two young celebrities deconstruct this dirty word

Earlier this year, TA interviewed feminist Maz Kessler, who has set up a crowd funding site doing amazing things for vulnerable women and girls all over the world. She told us that the definition of feminism is simply the equal rights of men and women: for women to earn the same as their male counterparts, to be free from violence and sexual assault, to have power over their own bodies, to have access to education, and not to have to suffer female genital mutilation, gang rape, sexual trafficking and forced prostitution as cultural norms, or be married off (like thousands of pre-pubescent girls every year) to a man old enough to be her grandfather.

Despite the fact we know that 1 in 3 women worldwide is a victim of sexual assault and/or domestic violence, the word ´feminism´- fighting for a better future for all girls and women- often invites hateful comments and a fierce backlash, even from women themselves (there is an entire website dedicated to Women Against Feminism, for example). Why is this? How did this word become such a dirty one? Maybe it´s time to make a distinction between gender differences (yes, of course men and women are different!) and gender rights (but we are also equal). We´ve picked two videos by young actors which are well worth listening to if any of these issues interest you.

In case you missed a popular viral video this week, Harry Potter´s Emma Watson gave a fantastic speech on feminism this week at the UN conference.  She makes some very thought-provoking points, invites men to become part of the movement for change, and gets a well-deserved standing ovation at the end.

In the embedded video above, actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt deconstructs the word ´feminism´, explains why he considers himself one too, and asks you to join the conversation: what does feminism mean to you? We´d also like to know, so watch the video and leave some comments if you have anything to add to the debate (keep it compassionate!)

Image Credit: Flickr / looking4poetry

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