The term I’m referring to is complex. Women today, more than ever, are empowered to be who they want to be and voice what they believe. Truly, how is that precedent even the standard for what women should be happy with? That’s why we still have a long way to go. The term “Post-Feminist” is absolutely misleading. In the world of feminism, it refers to a time after the 1970s saw a renaissance in feminist dialogues, but truly, we are not in a post-feminist world.
I just read a headline yesterday that was an article related to how Meghan Markle is being critiqued for how she holds her baby bump. That headline was particularly disturbing to me. It’s content like that which perpetuates a culture of micro aggressions from women to other women. The article quoted women stating how she should not cradle her baby bump in public: it was absurd. The fact that that was a headline was what disappointed me. Duchess Meghan would be disappointed in that headline, too.
Attempts to dispell how women express themselves can be seen in how women perceive the way in which they should express themselves in relation to how other women express themselves. This leads to how women see the impact of their objectification. I am well aware that female objectification is still a prevalent issue in society and we must continue to grapple with that. Kim Kardashian is a great example of this, she is aware of her own objectification, and yet continues to build upon this by feeding into what the public wants to see. She has been criticized for that. I would like to propose that we must go beyond constantly questioning the choices of women and taking a stance in trying to empathize more. From a vantage point of empathy is where we can begin to affect the most change we want to see in the world.
Emily Ratajkowski, a vocal proponent for the furthering of feminist dialogues in today’s world stated in an article to Vogue Australia: “The only argument that I think is sort of interesting is the conversation that somehow I’m playing into a patriarchal society by looking the way I look and capitalising on my sexiness,” she says with a shrug. “But I don’t really care if me wearing a crop top is somehow playing into some patriarchy, because it makes me feel good about myself, and I shouldn’t be limited on that. Making rules as to what a feminist should look like or wear is insane to me.” Her openness to explain the logic of her decision making is powerful, but the world in which I want to see if I have a daughter someday is one in which they should never even have to feel like they need to explain themselves, because they are accepted for the decisions that they make and they are not questioned for it because they are a woman.
If we continue on a road of questioning the way in which women choose to express themselves, we continue down a road of sidelining women. Now, more than ever, we need women leaders around the world and we need to empower women to feel strong enough to do that. As Emma Watson put it, feminism is a choice, and that’s powerful.