Reshaping feminism

In the global media, feminism has gotten a bad wrap. We have heard a lot of viral videos and trends on social media and many streaming platforms regarding “radical feminism”. These videos and articles show women, supposed feminists, asking for extra treatment and calling attention regarding events that were problematic for themselves. These scenes are not caused by sexism, but rather either unfortunate timing, or the selfishness of the radical woman. These “feminists” come off as self-entitled, extremely annoying, selfish, and, most importantly, interesting enough to be given attention in the media. Many people see feminism as these women waltzing around the world, trying to make sure everyone caters to them. The problem is, feminism does not stand for that; we stand particularly for women’s rights for equality. We ask for the same wages and work environment as men, and we fight for equality measures in the army, family, and academia. To make sure we do not taint the portrayal of feminism, there should be a call to refrain feminists from allowing “bad-media”. I ask feminists to stick to our traditional ideals, ones that make others proud to be feminist, to fight for the important issues and not get muddled in the small unfortunate events that plague everyone in everyday life.

The misunderstandings of feminism and the overrepresentation of radical feminists have led to a profound belief that feminists are just ‘playing the victim.’ After gaining political and economic equality, many women start to nit-pick rather than enjoy the freedom they fought for after centuries of oppression. This pattern of victimization has ironically grown over the past few years, and it has to stop now. We are yet to achieve full equality in many areas, and feminism should not be used as a scapegoat for women who experience small, irrelevant inconveniences. Victim feminism not only damages the reputation of feminism, but also solidifies the old-fashioned belief that women are ‘powerless’ or ‘weak’. On the internet, these radical feminists have now been used as their own punchline, for when men either need to leave their woman, need to go to the gym, be strong on their own, and, most regularly, to show the hypocrisy of modern feminism. Feminists must not use the values we stand for personal gain, but rather continue striving for significant change.

The historical values of feminism were the ones that the majority of feminists subscribe to. During the Women’s Right Movement, women role models, such as Amelia Earhart and Rosa Park, have demonstrated the capability of women. Amelia Earhart became the first woman to fly across the Pacific Ocean alone; she was incredibly famous due to her skills, and many recognized her as a pilot as good as any man. Rosa Parks had the bravery to remain seated on a non colored seat, an act many civil rights activists would not even do, and got sent to prison. Though she was released, she committed to her act knowing that there was a possibility to leave prison much later. These women fought against a sexist and unequal culture with bravery and dedication, and that is what we ought to maintain for our modern feminism. 

It is vital that we fight against radical feminism, and preserve the true values and feminist ideals in real life as well as in social media. As women, it is important that we all contribute to maintaining a positive image in global media, in order to continue the progression of true feminism.

My name is Jasmine Wei and I am a 14 year old girl living in Auckland, New Zealand. I was born in China and when I first came to New Zealand I was stunned by how much more conventional China is around ideas about sexuality and gender. For example, when I was back in China girls and boys had different activities in PE lessons, but when I came to New Zealand everyone would do the same thing in PE and I realized that girls can also play more aggressive sports such as basketball as well. When I was a kid people used to give me dolls and barbies, not trucks and dinosaurs. Actually I saw these things as the norm until coming to New Zealand and realising the unfairness and inequality. I believe that both females and males should have the same right to choose what they like regardless of their gender and should not be stereotyped to having certain behavioural traits due to their gender. I am also interested in LGBTQ+ rights and I really hope that I could help other girls all around the world to see that they are capable of high achievements in all areas through SHEQUALITY.