Modern Feminism- a trend or a just cause?

I once read an article, accusing modern day girls of 'jumping on the Feminism train'. I won't bore you with the details, but the writer basically put forward the view that feminism was glamourised by celebrities and the media, and basically  that these days it had been transformed from a moral injustice into an instrument to gain retweets, likes and all the rest of it.
Naturally, this got me thinking. Has the celebrity culture got to, and tarnished one of the issues most held dear to us? Has ‘the girl from Harry Potter’ and Beyonce’s sampling of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s speech in her most recent album, smoothed over- and transformed feminism and a belief in gender equality into nothing less than a trend? Like acid wash jeans or scrunchies? Temporarily popular but soon to fall from grace never to be thought of again? The more I think about it, the more I disagree. Feminism will never be a trend- it’s a progression.
With Twitter accounts such as ‘Everyday Feminism’ and Hashtags like ‘#FeminismFriday’ exploding over social media, it’s time to admit that feminism is here to stay. And I’m glad. 
The generation behind this insurgence of gender equality may be too young to remember the speech Hillary Clinton made in 1995 in Beijing, whilst first lady of the USA. But we are a new generation of feminists. No doubt the popularity of Emma Watson’s heroic speech as United Nations Women Global Goodwill Ambassador had a huge effect on my generation- a figure we know, talking about something important and relevant. She delivered her message with incredible courage and grace, and the hashtag #HeforShe currently has over 61,000 posts on Instagram.
Not only that, but the content of her 14-minute speech dealt effectively with the f-word of feminism, for those who believe feminism is akin to man-hating. If she, and her prior popularity as an actress, make people thing about gender equality, how it effects them and why ‘if not me then who’, then it is a job well done. And in this day in age, where Kardashians rule supreme, it’s so important for young women to find good role models who support and stand up for things that matter.
I personally find another such role model in Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon. Politics aside, whether you agree with her or not, you cannot deny that she is a woman taking the world by storm. She’s passionate about her cause, joining the SNP at the tender age of 16 before becoming Scotland’s first female First Minister in 2014. In the course of the recent elections, she held her ground and put up as admirable a fight as any other party leaders, David Cameron, Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband included. She had no qualms with confrontation and performed well in debates. She also handles daily criticism by newspapers and the media- often about highly personal matters- with resilience and grace.

Her commitment to a gender equal cabinet gave me hope for the future of women in politics. She is, intentionally or not, a modern feminist role model. Her hug with Leanne Wood and Natalie Bennett after the BBC leaders debate showed camaraderie and brought back feelings of good old fashioned girl power. 
To me, this is the kind of woman that I would want my daughter growing up to idolize: someone with intelligence, class and dignity. She’s passionate about her people and I’m so proud that she is a woman, a feminist, carving the way for other women in politics, and that she’s leading my country.
The thing about feminism is, that it affects every woman. Whether they are being paid less, being described as ‘bossy’ or being wolf whistled at in the street.  And if the bloggers, the social media users and the women of my generation who care about gender equality, if they take inspiration from Emma Watson, from Hilary Clinton, from Nicola Sturgeon or from Mary Wollstoncraft herself, if it inspires them to become empowered, to care about the perception and treatment of their gender- then I challenge anyone to say it’s a bad thing. 
Feminism should be about accessibility, making women feel like they can stand up, give their opinion and demand equality. It shouldn’t be about accusing girls of ‘jumping on the bandwagon’ or following a trend. If they are raising awareness, talking about it and cham
pioning the cause- you never can tell just who they might inspire.
Because I for one cannot wait for the day when a country gets its first female First Minister and the first comment the papers make, is not about what she is wearing. 

By: Jodi Young20 year old blogger/business student- @jodiyoung_ 
Modern Feminism- a trend or a just cause? Modern Feminism- a trend or a just cause? Reviewed by Admin on 18:11 Rating: 5

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