I am a Feminist: Feminist Merch and Life Stories

06:43

Hello Darling,

If I'm honest, I cannot believe I have never talked about feminism on my blog before, one of the most important concepts in my life and I have never used my platform to talk about it, quite frankly I'm ashamed. Today I'm going to brush the surface of feminism by discussing a few of my experiences in the world, I can't go too far down the rabbit hole right here right now as it's such a deep issue, but I'm happy to discuss it at a later occasion. I've also found a few bits and bobs of feminist themed products that are most certainly on my wishlist, so hopefully this post is interesting/entertaining and has some utility too!
Before I begin, if you views differ to mine in way of feminism or social attitudes on the whole you may either: politely leave a comment expressing your beliefs in a mature manner or stop reading this post, I'm sure other posts that I have written may suit you much more. 

- Feminist and Proud Pin - 

I found this pin when I was in a gift shop of the Baltic gallery in Newcastle. I love this badge so much, because it says exactly what I am. I am a feminist and I am proud of that. May people act like feminists are man-hating kill joys, this is, in my view, a very ignorant comment. To me, feminism is wanting equality for every gender, just because it's name stems from 'female' doesn't mean doesn't help other sexes eg males. Feminism, to me, isn't about trumping males or being better, it's about being equal. Equal pay, equal treatment, equal attitudes - for males and females. If this pin is something you'd proudly wear, because like me, you are proud to be a feminist, you can purchase one from Feminist Apparel  which stocks loads of amazing stuff, fit for any feminist to wear! 


- Feminist Poster - 

I think it's important to acknowledge that just because you may have all the rights you desire, there are women all over the world who aren't in the same position. Being a feminist, to me, is about fighting for their rights too, not just yours or women in your class bracket. In many countries there are women who cannot legally drive alone, who have to answer to their husbands as property or who are forced to marry who their fathers demand. In other countries, the injustices are more like experience unequal pay or sexual harassment in the work place - still completely unacceptable, however it's important to note everyone's injustice is different, this does not undermine some individuals problems or make others more credible, it simply means every individual experiences different situations. This poster, also from feminist apparel, is super awesome and 100% something I want on my wall when I'm at university. 


- Rosie the Riveter Socks - 

I chose to feature these Rosie the Riveter socks, because for one they're awesome, but this icon proves that women can do anything a man can do. Yesterday, I was sat having lunch with my Brother, Sister, Mum and Nan. Mum, who prior to this I usually agree with on politics and similar topics. Mum was rambling on about how she didn't want the new Dr Who to be a female, Brandon who is 10 was getting very irate shouting "Dr Who can be whatever gender Mum! It doesn't matter if it's a boy of a girl." (This was a proud big sister moment.) Anyway, when I was asking Mum why Dr Who shouldn't be a women, Mum's answer was "There are things Dr Who did, that a women couldn't do. There are just some things that men can do and women can't." This was a massive face palm moment in my life. I have never disagreed with my mum more, than in that moment. I agree, biologically there are some things a man can do and a women can do, for example women can bare children naturally and men cannot. However, I do not agree that there is anything in life, bare these biological differences, that a man can do and a women can't! Perhaps the male body has adapted to be bigger and stronger than the female, this doesn't mean that all women are useless at sports or are weak, while it also doesn't mean that all men are strong and that's ok! There will be thousands of men who I could probably beat in sport or I'm taller than, in fact being 5"11 I am taller than a heck of a lot of males, however there are also millions of men who are stronger than me or taller. That doesn't mean I am incapable, or they are better than me, it means we are different. Anyway, diverting off topic, Rosie shows how women can do anything a man can do and similarly a man can do anything a women can do - so don't feed me lies that only women can be good parents or good cooks.

One of the topics I have studied as a part of my law degree is 'Law, gender and inequality.' Learning the statistics of how few females make it up to the highest ranks of the career, despite roughly 60% of those who study law being female, is sickening. And this is the same through a lot of careers, more head teachers are male, despite teachers on the whole being female. There are more male MPs, more male CEOs, more male Doctors at the highest ranks - why is this? 
Don't feed me, there are more males at the tops of these professions because they're simply better. How are they biologically better at being a lawyer or doctor, unless there is a law gene in their genetic makeup, it's nothing to do with biology. (Socialisation and attitudes is potentially a whole separate blog post, if you're interested in reading more about it let me know in the comments!) 




- Rosie the Riveter T-Shirt - 

I am completely in love with this T-Shirt and the design. It perfectly highlights how every woman is different and everyone can do anything they want. Perfect message, in my opinion. I also love how it's achieved the diversity of more than just the traditional individual, you have a strong black women, a strong little woman, a strong Asian women, a strong transgender women, a strong lady in a wheelchair, a strong Islamic woman and a strong plus sized women. Each of them and more, deserving of equal rights and equal treatment.

Don’t think by me writing this, I'm not open to the inequalities facing men, believe me I am. Men struggle to gain custody of their children as easily as women, the mother is paid child support rather than the father. Men are constantly pushed to be masculine and heterosexual and anyone outside that box is shamed and told they're not men. As much as we can argue that attitudes have improved, the belief that women are better parents than men and men can't be gay or feminine, even that pink is a women's colour, are still highly prominent in our society.  

 - Feminist AF T-Shirt - 

This next T-Shirt is from Boohoo, Asos also have a good selection, however I struggle to insert Asos photos for whatever reason, but have a look on there if you haven't found what you're after. 

Some of the injustices I personally face, are different from what other women face and the stories I have will similarly, be different from the stories of other women. 
I saw an article the other day on facebook shared by  an old friend from school. Potentially he was a little naive (I hope he isn't offended by me saying that) as he was in utter shock and sadness that this article was stating getting sexually harassed is just part of a girls night out. Any girl who goes out could probably tell you this, in fact it's obvious, so the fact that he was shocked by this, actually shocked me. But that's the painful truth, a night out for most girls, at some point will be met with sexual harassment. For some people sexual harassment or anything worthy of a crime has to be something truly utterly awful eg rape however, that's not what it is or what it means. To me, you go out, some guy slaps your arse or opens your top, follows you around the club, tries to hold your hand, tries to grab you and get you to dance with him, touching you anywhere at all…those to me are all sexual harassment.
I was on a night out in Newcastle, a club me and my friends constantly go to and some guy my age who I didn't know thought it was super appropriate decided to smack my bum, very hard, this is not uncommon. When I turned around and he realised how angry I was he protested it wasn’t him. So I turned back around and kept having a good time with my friends. 30 seconds later the same guy did it again, this time even harder. This time I was completely raging and had he not ran away I would have probably got kicked out of the club. But, out the corner of my eye, all I could see was him with his friends all laughing and pointing at me, I felt so worthless, like these boys couldn't even see I was a human, just a stupid joke, worth upsetting for the banter.
In another club, my friend was wearing sort of like a wrap top. Some guy came over to her and completely ripped it open, full bra and chest on display. She went home in tears because she felt gross and dirty, even though she'd actually done nothing wrong! In yet another club, myself and three of my friends were stood dancing and some guy came up to one girl and put his hand down her tights. And these events are only things I can remember, there are so many other occasions. And most girls will have these same stories.
I'm not trying to say that every guy is like this and I have male friends who I know don't act this way, but the attitude is still there amongst some males. The attitude that women are there for the enjoyment of men or seen only as a sexualized object rather than an actual human with feelings.
When I was about 16 and started going out with my boyfriend, people around my town used to refer to me as 'Shep's piece' or 'Shep's bird.' I'm not sure if Ryan know this used to happen, but it used to enrage me. Because I'm not someone's thing, I'm not an object, I'm my own person and deciding to be in a relationship didn't label me as their possession. 

- We should all be Feminist - 

Going back to the meal with my family, my little brother who is 10 is clearly a feminist. He may not want labelled in this way and he probably doesn't even understand or know what the word means, but he was fighting for women's equality and repeatedly kept saying women could do and be anything they wanted. I believe everyone should be a feminist, if a 10 year old boy has his head switched on, why can't the rest of the population. Give me one reason why YOU should not be a feminist. Male? Feminism helps all genders, not just females. You have enough rights now? There are other women in this world who don't, so just because you think you're being treat equally doesn't mean you cannot sympathise and try to spread awareness for other women too. You don't like the stigma that's attached to the label? We're living in a society full of labels, let other people be ignorant toward them, that's their problem not yours.


- Who wants to be a Princess, when you can be a Scientist - 

This T-Shirt is from RedBubble, which has some amazing prints relating to almost anything! I found this super cool design, with the phrase "Who wants to be a princess, when you can be a scientist." Not saying there's anything wrong with wanted to be a princess, but so many little girls are ready stories of being a princess and told of a handsome prince. Why do all little boys have to aspire to saving the princess and why do all little girls have to aspire to wearing pretty dresses and waiting for their boy to come rescue them. Organisations such as WISE and  I AM THAT GIRL encourage girls to be involved in other fields which are traditionally 'masculine.'


- The Princess Saves Herself in This One, Book - 
(Photo by: Pretty Geekery) 

I hope you've enjoyed reading my post, while finding some super cool feminist merch. If you'd ever like me to share my opinions on anything more specific, feel free to ask in the comments and I'll be sure to get a post up!

Regardless of gender, what are some inequalities you have faced due to your sex? Let me know in the comments!

Make every second beautiful and have a pretty day,
Kayleigh xo 



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