International Women’s’ Day and Feminism Today

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In Features by The BadgerMarch 20, 2015Leave a Comment
Vicky Grantham discusses the prevalence of Feminism in light of International Women’s Day, especially through social media.

Hundreds marched in support of International Women’s Day in London with many donning Edwardian clothes and purple, white and green sashes, (the colour of the suffragettes) over the weekend. Among the supporters was Emmeline Pankhurst’s great-granddaughter.

Women’s Day in Brighton was organised by Brighton Women’s Centre with the theme of ‘Make It Happen’ to encourage effective action for advancing and recognising women around the world.

The event has been held across the globe for more than a hundred years to recognise past struggles but also achievements of women everywhere.

Women’s Day is still necessary as feminism is still relevant today, 97 years since women in the UK got the vote.

In 2015 the feminist movement looks set to be more prominent than ever as feminists continue to go online using social media to tackle issues in the UK and across the globe.

Robyn Minshall, Comms Officer and Ellie Priest, Welfare Officer, both for FemSoc, said: “Feminism is, by definition, still relevant in 2015 while women still face ingrained and institutionalised inequality in innumerable forms throughout the world.”

By using social media causes are promoted quickly, meaning the word can get out there and the movement can generate more supporters.

Nadiah Jamaa, a University of Sussex alumni, said: “[Social media] can do good. There’s a lot of lad culture on social media but then you also have huge campaigns like No More Page 3.”

Coming over into 2015 from the 2014 campaign is #AskHerMore. This initiative strives to get red carpet reporters to ask female celebrities more than the standard “Who are you wearing?”

Female celebs get asked about babies, boyfriends and beauty whereas male celebs are asked about first jobs in Hollywood, their aspirations and contemporaries.

The campaign hopes that these reporters will dig deeper into the achievements of women in showbiz, similar to how they approach their male counterparts.

While social media can generate a lot of positive comments it also gives way to a counterculture allowing it to build momentum.

Pippa Adler, a second-year film student, said: “I think social media can be both a force of good and bad. Good in that it spreads information to people who previously might not have an opportunity to obtain it (because of financial or physical issues for example), but bad in that it is also very quick in spreading lies and misconceptions.”

At the time of writing, #ActYourGenitals was trending on Twitter. The hashtag brought a slew of tweets in support of women and men ‘knowing their places’ in society.

The controversial hashtag generated supporters and opposition. One user @ImAGoodYute tweeted: “Girls with no back and no breast… Are you real girls? #ActYourGenitals”.

While another @AmeliaaaaLubna tweeted: “When girls expect guys to cook for them #ActYourGenitals and get back in the kitchen.” And, @RumBegum tweeted: “Males who get their eyebrows done #ActYourGenitals”.

These tweeters were not alone with their comments, which stir up a host of feminist and LGBTQ+ issues, proving the movement still has its work cut out for it in 2015.

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