Image Credit: Sarah Corbett. You can read more about her work in our interview with her here.
Here’s LIF Hazel’s list of 13 lies society is trying to trick you into believing…
1. All feminists are the same
Never let anyone tell you “You shouldn’t/can’t do that because you’re a feminist“. There are pro-porn feminists, feminists that shave, those that don’t … As long as you believe in gender equality, you can do what the hell you like.
2. Reverse anything is a thing. It’s not a thing. Stop trying to make it a thing.
Sexism = power + prejudice based on gender. As we live in a patriarchy where men have the power whatever discrimination they may feel is not sexism. Check your privilege before you start talking about “reverse” anything. The same goes for racism, and ‘skinny shaming‘.
3. Your worth comes from the way you look
Society often equates beauty with worth, whether it’s Wimbledon champion Marion Bartoli being told she’s ‘never going to be a looker‘, full page spreads on Nicola Sturgeon’s outfit choice or the advert’s on the tube asking us if we’re “beach body ready“, the pressure on women to look a certain way is everywhere.
4. Quotas are just women being selfish
So, 71% of MPs are men because men are more suited for the job? And that’s why under a third of the cabinet are female too?
Or is it because we live in a society that privileges men over other other genders, and white people over non-white people?
Is it just me or does Cameron have a sign saying “Calm Down Dear” behind his sink. Well, one of his sinks. pic.twitter.com/JamptrVhut
— Alex Ingram (@nuttyxander) March 23, 2015
5. Feminists are anti-men
No feminists are not a man hating cult of witches.
Feminism is about gender equality, and about solving the problems inflicted on all genders by the patriarchy. This includes the pressures put on men to conform too.
6. It’s wrong to make a scene
Did someone say something sexist to you? Well don’t tackle it because that would be EMBARRASSING for all involved. You know catcalling is a compliment/banter/a hilarious joke right?
In a fantastic Feminism 101 article, Emil Heist Moss hit the nail on the head:
“We girls are taught to smooth the edges of our conversational style. We are taught to stamp down our opinions so they don’t seem so radical, so pointed, so angry. Don’t draw so much attention to yourself. Don’t scare the men away. Don’t make a scene.”
Let’s all take a leaf out of Vanessa Kisuule’s book.
7. Women aren’t funny
Though it may seem like a joke I still get told by men and women that “they just don’t think women are as funny as men”.
Have you heard of Tina Fey and Amy Poehler?
If it does seem like men are more likely to tell jokes, maybe it’s because woman are taught that men like it when they laugh at their jokes, not when they tell one themselves.
8. Anyone has the right to tell you what to do with your body
9. The word ‘slut’ is okay
In a recent survey it was found that six out of ten young people think the word “slut” is OK to use in some circumstances. Apparently, almost a fifth of young women use the word either fairly often or all the time.
This buys into the fact that there are ways women should and shouldn’t conduct themselves and that sex is something men own, not women.
10. Real women don’t have periods or body hair
SURPRISE, making our bodies smooth is serious effort.
11. The fact girls do well at school mean the fight for gender equality is over
It’s true that on average girls do better than boys in their GCSE’s. However much as state school students are more likely to get a first at degree level than private school students yet on average earn £4,500 less a year, women still don’t get a fair deal in the workplace.
12. No one wants to see movies about people like you
The Bechdel test has enlightened women everywhere about the lack of real female characters in films. At the 2014 Academy Awards, only three out of the eight nominees for Best Picture passed the Bechdel Test.
When watching BBC’s Honourable Women last year I was blown away by the number of female characters with actual personalities and success – only to find out that the cast was split 50/50. I was shocked to see an equal amount of women and men on TV.
Well, let’s all go and see Mad Max.
13. You are powerless
YOU ARE NOT POWERLESS. The patriarchy can be challenged, and there’s something everyone can do to help fight gender inequality.