Let’s Talk About Feminism Some More

A few weeks ago, I wrote an article where I shared some thoughts about inequalities, feminism and bullying on Twitter among other things (here is the link). Someone answered telling me that the gender pay gap was a myth, and trying to explain me why. After turning this in my head over and over trying to figure out what to do with this, doing some quick research to make sure that yes, this was bullshit, I finally decided to come back with yet another article, because apparently this is what I do.

And in case you’re wondering, I left the comment below the article though I didn’t really know what to do with it. And yes, I know everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but sometimes people are wrong, and considering this person is using swastika to symbolize feminist, I will not bother answering them. Maybe they will read this article. In any case, I will not take time to answer them, considering the fact that – as I addressed in my previous article – the term “feminazi” is highly wrong as it refers to a historical group that exterminated thousands of people for anti-Semitic and racist reason. I will not delve further into this, but this whole thing is making me more and more uncomfortable.

Don’t. Ever. Use. The. Term. Feminazi. Ever.

It is not a word and it shouldn’t be.

Let me tell you a few things about what mattered in my previous article (and still matter to me, and should matter to everyone in my humble opinion), and some things about why his comment was inappropriate and angered me endlessly.

What I was trying to point out was the fact that feminists were often misjudged. We are in a constantly evolving society, and yes – thankfully – a lot of progress have been made for women. But oh my, we are still far from it. And yes, white straight female from wealthy/privileged countries probably don’t always see that problem. And to some extent, I am immensely happy for them. Because I am happy for successful women. But come one people, let’s not stop at that. There are still thousands of uneducated young girls, young women, and older women, because people don’t value women’s education as well as men’s. (If you want to help, or just learn, check out CARE’s website.) And that is only the beginning of the problem. There are wage inequalities between white men and white women, but these get even worse for women of colour. And lower wages are only the surface of the iceberg. Men are usually considered first for promotion (and by that I mean allocishet white males). It’s harder for women of colour and trans women to get jobs. And why should it be? Name one single reason? There is absolutely not a single reason why we as women should have less rights than men.

By the way, this person was trying to assess his point of view with some examples, if you want to get some knowledge on gender wage gap, check out this Wikipedia page, it is extremely well made in my opinion. A few numbers to remember: the gender wage gap between men and women is somewhere between 4 and 8%, and at this rate, wages would be equal by 2109 – and I am delighted to tell you that I will be very dead at that point, so that’s not very encouraging.

Some people think it’s not necessary to be angry. I’m not asking you to be angry. I’m just asking you to acknowledge that I do, in facts, have a right to be angry. And as a white cis woman from a privileged country, I also know that I am privileged compared to many others. What I was trying to point out in my previous – and want to emphasize here again – is the fact that not only there are gaps between men and women, but that these gaps increase for women of colour, or trans women, or disabled women, who face even more discrimination. Not only do they get lower wages, but it is harder for them to get jobs. And we need to fight for them, we need to fight for their rights.

The thing is, the discrimination against women is not something that can only be seen on read through facts and numbers. It is something that is deeply rooted in our society. Centuries ago, men were going out to work while women were taking care of the house. There is also the problem of children, and when women get on maternity leave, they also can get in trouble with their jobs. Husbands earning more money as their wives is seen as the normalcy because the man is usually seen is the one who brings food on the table, and earns money. Women in high positions of power are often disrespected just because they are women and it makes men uncomfortable. Women are judged for what they look like rather than what they think and can do. And that, once again, is a prejudice deeply rooted in our society.

Even if you truly believe that the gender wage gap is a myth please don’t go argue with me in the comments and get your facts straight. And for once, listen to women when they tell you the situation is not fair rather than dismissing them because they make you uncomfortable.

I also wanted to add that I was quite pissed because this gender wage gap problem is the only thing this person has taken from my article when I was trying to address so much more issues such as the fact that it is normal and revolutionary for women to fight for their rights through social media. It makes you uncomfortable? It’s probably because it’s working. Oh, I’m sorry we are taking away from your privilege. (Kidding, I’m not sorry.)

I know this article in some parts just sounds like an angry rant, but hey, I have every single right to be an angry feminist, and I will keep hoping and working for a better world.

In the meantime, I promise you some bookish content very soon, and I hope you have a wonderful day!

Advertisements

Let’s Talk About Feminism

The other day, I got into an argument on Twitter with some random guy. Basically, he twitted something like “Let’s make a group to bully feminazis together and help each other against them” and I subtweeted “Who still does that?” and then people started getting angry. He also randomly insulted someone who had nothing to do with this in the middle of his answers. I was honestly apalled. Originally I wanted to make a thread on Twitter, but I realised I had too much to say, and decided to make a blog post instead.

First of all, he was making a group to bully people he didn’t like, don’t even get me started on that. That’s not what twitter or any social media is for. And it’s dangerous. Don’t even get me started on that. Bullying is wrong, end of the argument.

But the issue I wanted to address here is the term “feminazi” which is wrong, and shouldn’t even exist. The term “nazi” refers to a group of people who killed thousand of Jews, homosexuals, Roma and POC as well as political opposants in concentration camps. And this term should only refer to them. Since I started living in Germany, I realised that this issue was even more sensitive than I originally thought it was. Using this word is serious (it also goes for “grammar nazi” by the way, don’t say this, it doesn’t make sense). Using it is wrong. It’s harmful for no reason. Please don’t do that.

Now, there is another term I often hear when referring to feminists, and that is “anrgy feminist”. In a way, I find it quite negative, but at the same time, I am a feminist, and I am angry, and I wouldn’t mind being called an angry feminist, because I have a right to be angry.

* I’m angry because people expect me to shut up, get married, have kids and take care of my family.

* I am angry because the advertisement industry is sexist.

* I am angry because too many women don’t have a right to education.

* I am angry because of all the prejudice against sex workers.

* I am angry because of the salary differences between men and women, and even more so, between white men and women of colour. I honestly can’t believe we live in a society like this.

I want to fight for a better world, and I can’t believe there are people who want to shut us up. I have a right to be angry. As long as there are inequalities, I have a right to be angry. Feminism is about equality, not about men bashing – though men are mostly the reason of those inequalities, and are pretty fine with it. Feminism is about giving women – all women – the same rights as men and especially white allocishet men. It’s not about giving women more rights than men. It’s also about raising awareness on those inequalities and solve them. I can’t believe this is the 21st century and people still don’t know that.

In the light of Simone Veil’s recent passing away, I also wanted to comment on something I have seen going around on social media. In case you didn’t know, who Simone Veil is, she is a French politician and activist who fought for women’s right to abortion. And another important fact about her is that she was deported in a concentration camp during World War II as a child, and came back. She was an amazing woman.

She passed away recently, and people again couldn’t help but saying abortion was horrible, but that’s not even what I wanted to discuss. Abortion should be a right, and should be up to a woman’s choice.

What I wanted to discuss is the fact that people were dissing on contemporary feminism, and how much Veil would be ashamed of us. And they were saying that it was better in the past, and that we were aggressive for no reason. I already have listed some of my reasons above. And the feminist movement always had to be violent, at least to some extent, and one of the best exemples for this is probably the Suffragettes movement, which happened a century ago. We just use different means because it’s a different era. And once again, we have a right to be angry. I’m not sure whether it’s a good thing or not, but it’s a fact: you need to scream to make your voice be heard in this world. There’s still a lot to do, and we need to fight, because otherwise there’s no way we’ll be heard. Honestly I can’t believe French people still don’t see that. We got democracy through a revolution. Women at least have a right to be angry that we still don’t have the same rights as men.

And in today’s era, social media is one of the means we have to do that, and we’re not going to be ashamed of it, and we’re not going to stop. It just makes sense, and it’s efficient (and that’s probably why it annoys some people). Social media is one mean among others to be heard, and of course we’re going to take our fight there, just like the Suffragettes took it to the streets. This was a century ago. You can’t compare it to our fight today.

Before I end this article, I know that I am also priviledged, as a young white woman living in Europe. And I recognize that there are many more women who suffer these inequalities more than I do. And I want to fight for them.

 

Lorde made an excellent point about feminism not too long ago (you can watch it here) and I think she’s absolutely right. Honestly, these words are so inspirational, I’m going to try to be more like her when it comes to this. And still fight for it.

And if you want to educate yourself about feminism, I definitely recommend We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, both the TED Talk and the booklet.

The Feminist Booktag

I found this tag on a French blog called Allez Vous Faire Lire (which would be translated as “Go read yourself” or something of the sort!) and when I saw the title, I knew I had to do it as well. It was created by La Voix Du Livre, another blog in French (The voice of the book).

Basically, the idea of this tag is to talk about female characters, female authors and feminist ideas. And I love it. If you want to do it, you just have to answer the 10 different questions.

I haven’t done a tag in forever, and it felt like a good idea!

*****

1- Your favourite female author

IMG_20160722_135024   IMG_20170115_144807_203

Victoria Schwab

I haven’t read all of Schwab’s book yet, but I’m definitely planning on achieving that. She is so talented, and creates diverse and unique characters. Her fantasy worlds are amazing. And she, herself, is an amazing person. I really admire her.

2- Your favourite heroine

sansa

Sansa Stark from Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin

Based on both book and TV show, I really love Sansa and her character development. She has always been one of my favourite characters in A Song of Ice and Fire, and I think she is a badass underrated heroine.

3- A novel with a feminist message

IMG_20170516_102409_309

The Lunar Chronicles series by Marissa Meyer

For this prompt I decided to pick the Lunar Chronicles series by Marissa Meyer because it has a set of diverse, badass ladies who are all different and take no shit from anyone, and basically save the world together.

4- A novel with a girl on the cover

IMG_20170526_110839_452

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Many books would have matched this prompt, but I decided to pick one of my recent reads, with an important message and an incredibly brave heroine.

5- A novel featuring a group of girls

For this one, I first thought of the Lunar Chronicles series, but I eventually decided to choose it for another prompt. Then there is also the Summers of the Sisterhood series, which feature a group of friends through the years. And finally, I thought of Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, and its modern retelling Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld (review). All of these match the prompt and have an amazing cast of amazing ladies!

6- A novel with a LGBTQIAP+ feminine character

The Animators by Kayla Rae Whitaker

This book centers on two amazing ladies who create cartoons together. It is taught through the point of view of Sharon, and her best friend, the other central character, is a lesbian. Honestly, this book changed my life. It was fantastic. (review)

7- A novel with different feminine POV

IMG_20170618_130112_995

When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

This book features three major different feminine point of views and I love it for that (and many other reasons). First, there’s obviously Dimple’s point of view, she’s a young feminist, and wants to have a great career as a coder. Then there’s her mother, who is more conservative, and wants her daughter to find a good husband. And then there’s Dimple’s friend Celia, who is also a coder, and struggles to be accepted by others (while Dimple basically doesn’t care). All three amazing ladies ♥

8- A book where a girl saves the world

img_20170204_120353_232   IMG_20160710_111545

I can’t help but think about the Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins and the Divergent trilogy by Veronica Roth. But I wanted to mention something more original. And then I remembered about The Awakened duology by Sara Santana and the New World triology by Jennifer Wilson. Though I haven’t finished that one, it is definitely amazing.

9- A book where you prefer the female sidekick to the male MC

18725384

Hermione Granger from the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling

I will seriously never get tired of Hermione. She’s amazing. And I do love Harry Potter, but it’s in Hermione that I found myself while reading those books. She is such an inspiration.

10- A book written by a male author and featuring a female character

img_20161002_143329.jpg

All the Light we cannot see by Anthony Doerr

And of course I’m talking about Marie-Laure, who is one of the strongest characters I have ever read. Seperated from her father during WWII, uprooted from everything she knew, and still so strong. She is a character I will never forget.

*****

There are so many other great female characters that I love and admire, some of which are Annabeth Chase from the Percy Jackson series, Delilah Bard from A Darker Shade of Magic, Inej Ghafa from Six of Crows or Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games. The list never ends. Feel free to share your favourite in the comments!

Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed! I’m not tagging anyone because I wasn’t tagged myself, and I don’t want to bother any of you, but if you want to do this tag as well, feel free to do so and consider yourself tagged!

Body Issues: Why I Wear Makeup

After writing my posts about mental illness and mental health this month, I decided to talk about other things here, that are more or less linked to it. Because if mental illness is certainly something that is disregarded by a lot of people and needs to be talked about more, I believe body issues are also something that needs to be spoken of more. Which is why I have come up with this idea. I hope you enjoy, and as usual, feel free to share your (respectful) opinion in the comments.

For the past few weeks, I have been arguing a lot with my friend’s flatmate, who announced very proudly that when he would be prime minister, he would forbid women from wearing makeup. Because according to him, women are prettier without makeup. Good for him. But that brings up (at least) two problems.

The first one being that men always believe women wear makeup to be more beautiful, and to impress them.

And the second one being that men think they can simply decide what women can and cannot wear.

Which shows once again that no matter what my mom says, we live in a patriarcal society, and we need feminism.

Dear men, what if I want to impress a girl? What if I don’t want to impress anyone in particular? What if wearing makeup just makes me feel good, and that’s why I do it? Why do you always have to think everything we do has to do with you?

Yes, of course, #NotAllMen and so on. I know. Spare me with your comments, because you can’t deny that it’s a very common behaviour that needs to be addressed.

And while I’m at it, if you’re a woman commenting on other women’s makeup and belittling them, please don’t do that. And if whoever you are, you criticize men and boys wearing makeup, you also need to shut up.

Makeup is wonderful and no one will persuade me otherwise.

The question here is not whether women are prettier or not with makeup. Who cares. What really annoys me is the fact that men always assume women wear makeup to impress them. What really annoys me is when men judge women for wearing makeup and looking different with it. Because makeup is important to me, even if I don’t wear it abundantly. Makeup is my armor. And yes, I wear makeup even if I’m just going to the supermarket which is practically downstairs from my flat. Because makeup makes me confident. And why should I deprive myself of that confidence? I need it.

When I don’t wear makeup, my dad constantly asks me if I’m sick. No dad, I’m not sick, I’m just not wearing makeup thank you very much. My own father thinks I look terrible without wearing makeup, and trust me, that is not helping with my self-confidence issues. And yes, I feel prettier with makeup. I am allowed to do that. I need that satisfaction to carry on with my life. By now, wearing makeup every day is just part of a ritual, a daily routine. I wake up, have breakfast, shower, brush my teeth, wash my face, put on some make up. I honestly just wear BB Cream, eye shadow, mascara and lipstick. That’s enough to boost my confidence and make me survive the day. And no one should judge me for that.

Makeup is an accessory. Do you judge people for wearing clothes or shoes or carrying a bag? No. Then why would you judge them for wearing makeup? Just let us be. What is that to you anyway? It won’t change your life.

Before I end this article, I wanted to say that I really admire and respect people that are very good at makeup. And I also really admire and respects those who have the confidence to go out everyday without wearing makeup. And yes, part of me really wants to find someone who thinks I’m pretty without makeup. But that’s not gonna stop me from wearing makeup everyday. When I look at myself in the mirror with makeup on, I like what I am seeing and it makes me happy. And that’s all I need.

Don’t let the haters get you down. If people tell you you wear too much or not enough makeup, just ignore them. You are strong and beautiful no matter what. It’s what you feel that matters.

Sunday Recommendations: Feminist Books

Hi guys, I hope you’re all having a great Sunday, and I’m sorry it took me so long to make another Sunday Recommendations post! With what of moving and all my internet problems, I didn’t have the time nor opportunity to post one, but now all should be back to normal, or at least I hope so.

This week I wanted to talk about feminist books, or rather, books that I consider feminist. They are either branded as such, or contain extremely strong and free feminine characters. I tried to include books from different origins, there are some YA, classics, and foreign books, I hope you enjoy!

*****

Modern YA:

Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles, #1)The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

A series of fairytale retellings set in a futuristic world where people live on the Moon, and featuring a group of badass ladies who take no shit from anyone. They are talented, very human and relatable, and strong people. In addition, the series is also really diverse, and can have a role model for everyone!

The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee AhdiehThe Wrath & the Dawn (The Wrath & the Dawn, #1)

A fantasy, retelling of the Arabian Nights. The main character, Sharzad, is at first set on getting revenge for her cousin, but falls in love with the man she intended to kill. She is strong and independant, like the ladies of the Lunar Chronicles, she takes no shit from anyone. She knows what she wants, but is also ready to admit her mistakes, which are both points I really appreciated about her!

Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1)Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

I hesitated to include this one, but I think it is worth it. Six of Crows features a group of 6 people, and among those, two ladies who went through a lot: Inej, sold as a slave, was freed to become a thief, spy and killer, and Nina, a Grisha who was captured and then escapes, only to put the man she loves in jail. Both ladies are unique, strong and respected, and I think anyone who enjoys badass female characters would like them.

*****

Classics:

A Room of One’s Own by Virginia WoolfA Room of One's Own

I believe that this one was an obvious choice for this list. I am ashamed to say I am not a huge fan of Virginia Woolf, however this, in my opinion, is a must-read. Basically, in this book, Woolf shows that women need a room of their own to be able to create, to be writers, and I think she is extremely right. This was a very interesting book.

The Bell JarThe Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

Another obvious choice. This book develops on the position of women. It is mostly autobiographical. It did make me uneasy in some parts because of Sylvia Plath’s suicide attempts, but I don’t regret reading it. It is a book that will really make you think. I don’t really know what else to say about it, but trust me, this book is unique, and something that you won’t regret reading.

A Doll’s House by Henrik IbsenA Doll's House

This one is a Danish play, about a woman called Nora, who lives with her husband and two kids. At first she seems really frivolous, but she evolves through the play, after something she did in the past surfaces. Throughout the play, she starts questioning the place of women in the society, and why her husband only wants her to be a doll he can show off (hence the title of the play). At first, she can be a very frustrating character, but her character development is one of the best ones I have ever read!

Les annéesThe Years by Annie Ernaux

One of my favourite books ever. The Years is a non fiction, autobiographical book, showing what it was like to grow up as a woman after WWII. From the end of the 40s up until today, Annie Ernaux describes the evolution of the society, and the position of women. She has written many non fiction books about her life and struggles, which are all excellent and really interesting, and I will never stop recommending them.

*****

Thanks for reading, if you have similar books to recommend, feel free to do so in the comments! I also wrote some articles about badass girls, you can check them out here and here. I also have written a review for all the books I mentioned in this article, you can find them if you type the title in the search bar if you want!