Feminists all around the world rejoiced when Australia’s former Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, smacked down misogyny in a 15 minute speech. Unfortunately, we have not come far since then. There is this unspoken stigma attached to feminism, suggesting that behind every misogynist there is a short-haired, angry, lesbian that never shaves.
Elle Magazine recently did an interview with David Finch, the man behind the Wonder Woman graphics for DC comics, and revealed that he “wants the character to be ‘strong,’ but not ‘feminist’.”
“I think she’s a beautiful, strong character. Really, from where I come from, and we’ve talked about this a lot, we want to make sure it’s a book that treats her as a human being first and foremost, but is also respectful of the fact that she represents something more. We want her to be a strong—I don’t want to say feminist, but a strong character. Beautiful, but strong,” Finch said.
Now what chance does a young, vulnerable, impressionable, woman in everyday society have when Superwoman can’t even be dubbed a feminist?
Recently, I was out with some friends when a male friend came up to me after a dispute with his female friend and said “you’d be useless without a vagina.” Unfortunately I did not stand up for myself and instead laughed it off. Not only was I afraid he, and everyone else who was listening, would see me as a feminist but I was also afraid of appearing unfeminine, which is actually quite the opposite of what a feminism is meant to support.
The term ‘feminist’ was created after women began to fight for their right to gain equal rights and be seen as the equal sex, rather than the inferior sex, however the meaning has now been corrupted by men who fear strong and independent women and has managed to appear as an undesirable status within the public.
Until women, myself included, gain the ability to ignore society’s expectations this will not change as no one wants to appear undesirable amongst their peers.
Read Elle Magazine’s interview with David Finch here
Watch Julia Gillard’s misogyny speech here