#FemTrending: An Introduction

#FemTrending is a blog series with a feminist kick that wades into the waters of things "trending" in popular culture and politics. Written by GS&NS Digital Content Coordinator, Hailie Johnson-Waskow.

My freshman year of college we played a game where we had to deconstruct the stereotypes that had been assigned to us based on certain aspects of our identities. To do this we would identify that aspect and distance ourselves from it. My favorite part was when all the women in the group were asked to step forward and say something. So many of these were incredibly powerful; “Don’t assume I am asking for it because I am a woman”, “Don’t assume I am less intelligent because I am a woman”, etc.  However, the last girl proudly stated, “Don’t assume I am a feminist because I am a woman.”

I think it’s only appropriate to define what I think feminism is if I am going to write a feminist column for this blog.

While there are numerous convincing arguments for a matriarchal society, it seems that this would only replicate the harms of a patriarchal society. Thus, it seems more viable, and effective, to bolster feminism in a way that fosters true equality between genders.

The word feminism has evolved to exclude male identifying individuals and even some who identify female. This has only damaged the feminist movement to be fractured and exclusionary.  In order to create equality for all bodies it has become necessary to change the discourse surrounding feminism to include both male and female in the conversation.

One of my favorite authors, Caitlin Moran, argues in her book How To Be A Woman, 

We need to reclaim the word 'feminism'. We need the word 'feminism' back real bad. When statistics come in saying that only 29% of American women would describe themselves as feminist - and only 42% of British women - I used to think, What do you think feminism IS, ladies? What part of 'liberation for women' is not for you? Is it freedom to vote? The right not to be owned by the man you marry? The campaign for equal pay? 'Vogue' by Madonna? Jeans? Did all that good shit GET ON YOUR NERVES? Or were you just DRUNK AT THE TIME OF THE SURVEY?

The word feminist has been tainted to reflect militarization against men but it needs to be reclaimed. This column is an attempt to create equality between men and women.  This will be conducted through a feminist analysis of issues that everyone grapples with on a daily basis, through headlines that we all confront, and simple discussion of feminist ideology.

Watch this space for regular installments of #FemTrending, starting in February.

Hailie Johnson-Waskow

Feminism, creative chicks, and so many Leslie Knope memes: follow @gsandns on Twitter!