"True" Feminism // Adrian Kunemund
A couple days ago Kim Kardashian posted a naked selfie on one of her social media accounts. I know it's shocking...breaking news. Really though, it was interesting to observe the responses of other female celebrities to the photo. A couple seemed displeased, with one young actress highlighting that it's important to show girls that there's more to our worth than our bodies. Several more female celebrities then came to Kardashians defense with a message along the lines of 'her body her choice.' Kardashian herself then argues that she is empowered by her body and that she has multiple roles as a woman, including mother and wife, and she can be sexy.
The headlines followed with suggestions that one woman was throwing shade at another and so forth...I was fascinated and dumbstruck by the whole situation. It highlights an issue that we see among women right now, celebrities and non-famous women alike. We all want equality for women on some level. But there are significant differences among women and feminists about what this equality looks like or consists of. For example, I hear some feminists arguing against strip clubs and prostitution, calling it degrading and a false sense of power. I then hear others say that it is empowering and women should do what they want with their bodies and should embrace their sexuality after decades of socialized female sexual repression....who is 'right'? where do we draw the line? what would a 'true' feminist believe?
Another factor I must consider is if the reaction to this picture would have been different if it was Lena Dunham who posted a nude selfie. She has become the poster person for females proud of having different body types then those featured on the runway or in magazines....Would women have celebrated her self-confidence and bravery? Or would such a post still be seen as contributing to the objectification of the female form?
Differences of opinions and various perspectives within feminism need to continue to be vocalized so we can challenge each other to grow and think differently. But where can we find common ground? There are feminists that want equal wages and better responses to violence against women but who are also against abortion. There are others who are pro-choice but against women being exotic dancers. We all have our own conditions or ideas about what women should do and how to gain equality. So how can we reconcile our differences and still gather to form a united front for all women? In the process we need to consider how our culture influences our particular form of feminism. How does internalized oppression or messages about what we can and cannot do as women impact our feminism?
Feminism has changed over the course of decades and arrived in 'waves.' Now feminism seems to have less of a main slogan or message but is rather a collective of individuals who don't necessarily agree on what the movement needs or what feminism is. How do we unite behind issues? Does anyone else feel as though it's gotten a little grey in feminism and they're looking for some clarity?