For some reason, whenever I think about feminism, I think about Emma Watson. Maybe it’s because she’s amazing, or maybe it’s because I remember this quote that she said on an interview, after a Vanity Fair photoshoot of her was criticised for showing too much skin. She explains that “feminism is about giving women choice. Feminism is not a stick with which to beat other women with”. There are a lot of misconceptions out there about what feminism is and it could be because people are not educated enough about it. Here is the truth about feminism.
Being a woman in 2023
I have seen a lot of things on social media lately where women are bashing other women. There are certain women who like to post about healthy trends or rituals that they have created, whether it’s meditation, or waking up at 5am, or drinking celery juice. This has been going on for a while now – especially the ‘that girl’ renditions. Then there are other women who, for whatever reason, post about those women, almost mocking them for their choices. Sharing part of your life online does expose you to criticism. But this should not be a given. Why has it become normal to expect hate and judgement from others?
Being traditional or being modern
A few years ago, when I was with my long-term boyfriend, I imagined what it would be like to have a family. I have always loved kids and wanted to be a young mum. At the time, I found it hard to open up to my friends about these thoughts I was having. I was around 22 / 23 years old and they were definitely not in the same place. I would often feel so alone, even though I knew that some girls my age out there thought about it too. In 2019, I watched the newest version of Little Women, and once again, Emma Watson spoke to me. Her character in the film, Meg, wanted a husband and a family, while her sister, Jo, wanted to follow her dreams and become a famous writer.
I love this film because it shows that it is okay to be a woman and want to be traditional, and to be a woman and want to focus on your career. It’s also okay to want both. My favourite quote is when Meg says to Jo – “just because my dreams are different from yours, doesn’t mean they are unimportant”. There is no right or wrong path for a woman, it is whatever you choose.
What is important to recognise is that every person on this Earth is an individual. You may not like the choices that other women (or people in general) make, but their choices should be respected. Women should bring each other up, not tear each other down. It’s not us versus men, and it’s not us versus each other. You can have your own definition of feminism, that’s okay. Just as long as you respect other’s opinions and values that differ from your own.
Cover photo by Kool Shooters