I’m all for women’s rights, but I would get killer backache.

‘Burn the bra’ was a slogan closely associated with the women’s liberation movement; women wanted equal pay and the right to work in all career fields, some of which were considered only to be ‘men’s work’.

Though no bras were actually burned (they couldn’t get a fire permit), women would remove their over-shoulder boulder-holders in protest of oppression and restrictive gender laws. But what is a feminist and must you go braless in order to be considered one?

Feminism and the expression of women’s sexuality has evolved a lot over the years and met some harsh criticism along the way.

Feminists have been dubbed anti-men and are considered to be miserable nit-pickers by some; Bjork has famously refused the title of feminist, considering it to be ‘isolating’, she said: ‘ I think it’s important to do positive stuff. It’s more important to be asking than complaining’.

gaga

‘I’m not a feminist — I hail men, I love men. I celebrate American male culture and beer and bars and muscle cars’ – Lady Gaga.

Contrary to popular stereotypes, feminists are not all lesbians,  nor are they against hair-removal or the entire male population; men can be feminists too!

You  do not necessarily need to have a vagina in order to support gender equality, just as you do not have to be gay or an ethnic minority to support the LGBT community and equal rights.

Feminists also do not want special treatment; feminism is a movement of equality. It is a great shame and even shocking that modern, successful women have such negative opinions of feminists, especially considering the hard work of these women no doubt paved the way for their success.

Suffragette Emily Davison throws herself under at Epsom Derby

 

Emily Davison was a militant activist and feminist who lost her life, aged just 41, after stepping in front of King George V horse. Many speculate that Davison was trying to gain attention and support for the WSPU (Womens Social and Political Union). Davison had previously been arrested 9 times and force fed 49 times.

 

Thanks to the feminist movement, women now have choice. Women are no longer restricted to home duties, cooking or raising children, they can now choose to be ‘the breadwinner’, which was previously considered to be the man’s role.

That is not to say that you have to be a career woman in order to be a feminist – you can also be a feminist and a stay-at-home mum, Gloria Steinem says: ‘A feminist is anyone who recognizes the equality and full humanity of women and men’.

I end this article with one of my favourite feminist quotes: ‘No woman gets an orgasm from shining the kitchen floor’ – Betty Friedan.