After reports around the Tory who only selects women if they are attractive, there seems to be a heavy media agenda around women today. On the whole, the coverage is pleasing, as there is a great deal of concern expressed for the lack of women in top jobs, such as an article in The Guardian that rightly argues, the glass ceiling exists in law but not in reality. The articles point to how the battle against gender inequality is far from over, as Feminism is needed to tackle the new as well as old types of gender inequality that are/have forming/formed.
One article in particular I wholly recommend you to read, which highlights the overall news direction today in calling for a greater recognition of the need for Feminism to tackle gender inequality is Hermione Hoby’s article, in The Guardian. It acts as an invaluable reminder of how far women have to go until they get true gender equality. She highlights issues of gender inequality that have remained since the second wave of Feminism. For example, how is it right that only 126 of the 645 MPs are women? How can senior politicians such as Alan Scard, talk about women in simple ‘shagable’ terms?
As well as Feminism being needed to tackle the gender inequalities that have lasted for generations, there are new forms of gender inequality increasingly needing to be addressed by Feminism. I believe that the rise of the porn industry, whilst not being new per se, is an inequality that has gained a great deal of momentum in recent years, and is showing signs of getting worse, not better. There has always been a ‘Beauty Myth’ around how women look, but the increasing sexualisation of women has, in my view, increased the pressure placed on women, not liberalised them, as they are made to believe they have to meet unrealistic expectations set by unrealistic plastic women to ‘belong’ in society.
The media reaction by both women and men regarding important stories such as Harriet Harman and Hillary Clinton, shows that the battle for gender equality is long from complete. I am in no illusion, as honestly, I believe that gender inequality is so engrained, we have little chance of ever completely reversing the inequalities. However, Feminism still has a rightful place in contemporary society, to drive forward the message of equality for all. You do not have to be a lesbian man basher to be a Feminist, which is often the conception amongst many, especially men. You just have to believe in equal pay, rights and freedom for women and men. To that end, it is truthful to say that many in society can be called ‘feminists’.