Within the recent years, as feminism has become more mainstream and more widely accepted, it seems like it’s simultaneously lost something from its core. (No surprise — activism can’t be popular unless it’s watered down, right?)
At its heart, feminism is about challenging the social structures and your own learned socializations which seek to disadvantage women — yes, even if you, yourself, are a woman!
However, many celebrities (and, in turn, their fans) like to forget that. It’s not just about commenting on the inequalities, it’s about going back to the roots. We need to understand what makes those inequalities happen in order to make actual change, not just try to spot-treat the problems as they exist now.
Take the issue of women having to wear makeup in order to be taken seriously at work, for example. Sure, it’s easy to just say, “Hey, that’s bad! Don’t make them do that!“ But if we don’t address the reason why women are forced to wear makeup in the first place, can we really be expected to cause progressive change?
At the same time, though, that would imply that the person speaking would have to hold men (as a group) accountable for reducing women to their appearances instead of, you know, treating them like people. And that might be a step too far; after all, we certainly can’t hold men accountable for their actions!
In order to understand or progress in the name of feminism, we all need to go back to the beginning and figure out how we got to this point. In doing so, we can challenge the real issues of inequality and violence at their roots, not just try to slap a band-aid on an ever-widening canyon.
Your deeply rooted Sawdust Editor,