Feminism has a PR problem. Feminism needs to call up Shia Labeouf and ask him who it is that always seamlessly guides him through his drunk and disorderly charges, allowing him to remain one of the most famous and beloved people in the world.
Feminism today is not feeling the love.
Countless public figures still shy away from or completely reject the label. The movement is far from garnering the unwavering allegiance we would love. It’s 2015 and feminists are still commonly depicted as angry, bra-burning, screaming lesbians.
Third wave feminism is plagued with a paradox. We are witnessing the emergence of a “no, but…” feminism, whereby more people than ever are subscribing to its principals yet simultaneously rejecting the movement.
Feminism is the outspoken girl on the playground, and though people don’t hate what she’s saying, they hate her for saying it.
So what should we do?
Well, many people have suggested feminism reboot, rebrand, re-launch. If we want more followers, we need to make the movement more attractive. Just like an aged company that has too many negative associations, it needs a makeover.
People argue that feminism is not working to adapt and embrace skeptics. They criticize the movement for its resistance to seek a broader engagement with the public. Last year, Martin Daubney from the Telegraph suggested we “make [men] ache for feminism the way we crave an iPhone or the new Jag.”
“…the way we crave an iPhone…”
Feminism is a movement that works to create a better future for everyone on this planet. You don’t crave that? You don’t ache to achieve equality?
Must be nice to sit on the other side of the fence.
Feminism should not be something that needs to be seductive. It should not need a sexy marketing campaign. The notion of all humans enjoying the same opportunities and privileges should sell itself.
I’m sorry the packaging isn’t pretty enough. I’m sorry we haven’t wrapped our grief and anger in enough layers of tissue paper.
Feminism is a movement. Feminists are activists. Our ancestors fought and suffered to help women gain equality. You want us to sprinkle some glitter on top to make you feel better? Are the truths we speak a little too real, a little too uncomfortable?
Will changing the name to “egalitarianism” help you forget that all genders today are not equal? Will allotting Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson a spokesperson make it ‘manly’ enough for you to identify with the movement? Will hosting giant feminist themed parties make it ‘fun’ enough to make you see that feminists are not sexually frustrated butch women?
Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett and Holly Baxter wrote for the New Statesman, asking how feminism can make itself more ‘cool’ for teenagers, how to appeal to the young’uns. Should we slap Taylor Swift on the cover of Ms. Magazine? Will UN Spokespeople from now on only be as white and thin as Emma Watson?
No. We should teach. We should educate our youth to understand the ways in which society oppresses feminized people. We should open their eyes to the injustices and teach them that this is not acceptable. We should discuss changes, solutions and transformations. We should encourage dialogue. We should change mindsets.
Feminism always has been, and always will be, women fighting for equality. This should not change; the way society sees women should.
Feminism does not need to rebrand, people need to rethink.