Feminism hasn't 'happened'; I don't like that phrase because it implies that something is over - but there are so many reasons why we still need feminism. That's why saying that 'we don't need feminism anymore' is so naive and damaging. You may not feel like you need it, and that's great - that means it working. But there are countless other women in the world who do still desperately need equality. Every day, I read news pieces that illustrate that - just because it isn't directly affecting you doesn't mean you shouldn't care. To help show you what I mean, here are a selection of recent examples from the news that show exactly why we still need feminism.
1. The Leaked Photos Scandal
Something that's probably dominated your Twitter feed in recent weeks is a perfect example of why we still need feminism. Thanks to a twisted individual(s), the private lives of female celebrities have been plastered all over the internet. It's no coincidence that no male celebrities have experienced the same breach of privacy, nor is it coincidence that the most shared photos of those affected celebrities show them naked. These hugely talented women, famous for winning Oscars and sporting trophies, have had their bodies used against them in the most disgusting, public and personal way.
2. Emma Watson's UN Speech
You've probably heard about Emma Watson's brilliant, affecting UN address. What happened afterwards? A hoax, threatening to reveal naked, stolen pictures of Emma in response to her speech. This is so many levels of wrong, I can't even begin to explain it. It's like the internet equivalent of saying 'pipe down, or else.'
3. The Constant Trolling
This isn't a specific example but I felt it had to be mentioned. Ask any women in the public eye active on social media, particularly those with feminist leanings, if she's ever experienced gender-related abuse and I would guess that at least 90% would say yes - in fact, it's been proved that a much higher percentage of female writers have received online abuse. Some of the abuse these women receive is truly, truly vile and it needs to stop.
4. The Penalty for Abortion
Recently, a National Review columnist said that the penalty for abortion should be hanging. Obviously, this is a ridiculous extremist view but asshats like this are reflective of a wider problem: men wanting to control what happens to womens' bodies, and threatening violence when they don't get their way.
5. Amal Alanuddin and George Clooney's Wedding
This is, by all means, a happy occasion. My issue here is the way it was reported in more or less every paper and magazine - I saw only one exception. They went something like this: 'George Clooney, Hollywood royalty, to marry.' No mention of his new wife - the internationally acclaimed and respected human rights lawyer, Amal Alanuddin.
6. J-Lo & Iggy Azealea
Have you seen the video for this pair's new song? It reduces two highly successful women to a single body part. And the lyrics are just as bad. We see this sort of thing in music videos all the time - women, scantily clad and jiggling around. How often do we see that of men? Look at Jay-Z and Beyoncé. He wears long sleeves and trousers on stage and she stands next to him in little more than her underwear.
Again, not a specific example but something that I felt really needed to be mentioned. Remember that new nail varnish that was in the news recently? It reacts to date-rape drugs, so if you dip your finger in your drink, you can check whether you've been spiked or not. I'm not saying this is necessarily a bad invention, but the emphasis needs to be on stopping rapists, not placing the responsibility on potential victims. We see this thing all the time - girls, don't get drunk, don't wear inappropriate clothing, etc etc. It's time we stopped blaming the victims and started addressing the cause.
All of these examples are reflective of wider problems. They're by no means isolated and this is such a small selection of the examples I could have used. The need for feminism is still very much present. Do you feel that gender stereotypes affect you?