Thing is, I also consider myself to be a feminist. Yes, that's right a Feminist.
Feminism is a multi faceted entity. It encompasses many an issue. To me feminism is about being a strong independent woman who is not afraid to have an opinion and respectfully, voice it. It is about honouring other women and nurturing the bond between the sisterhood of women. It is about celebrating what it means to be a woman. And above all believing that all women have value and merit regardless of their race. religion or creed.
Recently, "coming out" as a feminist has been seen a set up for social suicide. Especially if you dared to mutter said "F" word amongst certain males. It's as if declaring that you held feminist views and indeed considered yourself a Feminist you were also admitting to be a man hater and/or someone who does not remove body hair, enjoy sex, wear make-up or EVER wear pink or girly clothes. But why? I can safely say I do not hate men (well really bad ones, perhaps) nor can I agree to the other items on the list. But that doesn't mean I am not a feminist. And being a feminist doesn't mean I am anti-man and anti-feminine.
Why is there an assumption that to be a feminist a woman can not be feminine? Just because I go wild for a pretty dress doesn't mean that I am any less dedicated to the cause of sexual equality. Just because our blog includes stories of motherhood and tips on how to wear pink lipstick doesn't mean it is not a feminist blog.
I mean, I get it. I understand that once upon a time women who dared to wear trousers instead of pretty little dresses, we seen as odd. I am aware that back 50 years ago a woman could not get mortgage in her own name unless it was counter-signed by a male - husband, brother, father - take your pick as long as he had a penis and was therefore logical and reliable. I am aware that our feminist sisters in the second wave seventies are the reason why today we have freedom to things in our own right. Though didn't they fight the fight for our freedom? Including our freedom to choose? Even if that means we choose to be feminine?
I realise that the beauty section of a department store can truly be one of the most oppressive places on earth. As can the bra section. I am fully aware that there are companies making heaps of money off of fashion and beauty products and that said products are the cause of many hours of wasted time, that women just like me, could be using for things like writing books and running countries. I know all too well that fashion can be a waste of time. I personal recall spending hours perfecting an outfit to wear to school the next day when I really should have been doing homework.
So just because we don't mimic those who came before us in the previous waves of feminism, it doesn't mean we are any less powerful, any less dedicated or passionate about the cause. It just means perhaps that we look better doing it!
When I wear my sequinned mini-skirt with a pink shirt I don't feel oppressed. I feel expressed! I don't feel like I am forced into it and I don't feel like I am doing it for anyone else but me. To me, clothing is not a sexual thing, I am not dressing to attract anyone or anything - except maybe good luck and magpies!
So what if we we are not as "earthy" as the Betty Freidens, Germaine Greers and Kathleen Hannas from the last three waves. Perhaps the fourth wave is (amongst other things) about fighting for the right to be a feminine feminist and not being judged by what we choose to wear. What we choose to wear does not imply we are weak or shallow. It doesn't mean we are slutty or easy. It doesn't mean we are bookish and uptight. And it does not mean we are 'asking for it'.
The Fourth Wave - The time of the Fashionista Feminist.