6/24/2016

What is Feminism? (English)



Hello there ❁❁ いつも自分の中で月曜日と木曜日に更新するって決めてるんだけど、今日はこの間のフェミニズムについての記事を英語でも書いてほしいってリクエストをもらったからこの記事はそのフェミニズムの記事の英訳版です :) 日本語版はこちらでチェックしてね!

I usually post twice a week but I got request from my lovely friend who is from the Netherlands so I decided to translate my last post about Feminism from Japanese to English.  (I hope you all know that my English is far from perfect!)

(Picture from Tumblr)





I don't meet people who tell me "I'm a feminist" very often.  Maybe just because people feel uncomfortable, scared, or shouldn't be open about it.  So today, I'm happy to share about my a bit of knowledge on feminism with you.  When I watched Emma Watson's speech on HeForShe campaign at UN in 2014, I realized that I'm a feminist.  Luckily, I met this lovely feminist professor at my college in the U.S., I could learn a lot from her.  We also made Gender Study class for ourselves and talked all about feminism every week for an hour.  That was one of my favorite classes!  And I also chose "Feminism = Gender Equality" as my graduation paper's topic.  I feel like I learned a lot but there are still so many things to know about it.  And I found myself realizing how education is important.  Here's Emma's speech!


Past few years, I realized that I have only a few Japanese friends that I can talk about feminism.  In Japan, human rights are not daily topic such as gender equality, and LGBTQ+.  However, I talk these things with my American, or Canadian friends very often.  We share articles about rape, sexism, body image or any kind of!  And we discuss what we think.  That's the reason why I wrote last post "what feminism is" in Japanese to tell my young Japanese readers and friends.  Maybe you think "that's not my problem," or "I don't have any trouble with my gender."  But knowing about gender equality is better than being ignorant so I wanted to share about definition of feminism and feminist "briefly" today.

First, I realized that the word "feminism," originally positive, has become negative word.  Oxford Dictionary defines "feminism" as "the advocacy of women's rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men."  In short, supporting gender equality in political, social, and economic field (if it makes sense.)  And "feminist" means people who believes in gender equality.  That's how simple it is.  So maybe, you're a feminist!  However, there are many people who has stereotyped images of feminism and feminist, like feminists are man-hating, radical or just for women.

You should know that both feminism and feminist are not only for women, but also men.  You shouldn't decide what it means before you know or learn about it.  Yes, maybe there are some radical feminists but not all of them.  You can be a feminist as you wanna be.  Both girls and boys can be feminists and support gender equality.  Please don't judge or decide what it is, just because you don't know.


Feminist - "A person who believes in the social, economic, and political equality of the sexes."

This is the definition of feminist by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie who is from Nigeria and a feminist.   (I would add "cultural" too!)  This book is called "We Should All Be Feminists" and is's her speech at TED.  She explains her experiences and how we need to fix in this speech.  For example, when she goes to a restaurant in Nigeria with a man, the waiter only greets the man and ignores her because they think "the man is paying."  Girls can be a leader, a boss and a president and boys can be emotional and cry, and his favorite color can be pink.  "Womanly" or "manly" can be sexist words nowadays.  Because of you're a girl, you don't have to get married, have a baby, and stay home for family.  Because of you're a boy, you don't have to have good job, get promoted, and support your family.  It can be opposite (well, man can't get pregnant but you know what I mean.)  These "rules" are old now and called "stereotyped."



(Picture from Tumblr)
Both men and women can get good job, and get promoted, or stay home, and be housewife or househusband.  There are obviously some things that only either can do but first of all, all of us are same human beings.  Even if both men and women have exactly same job with same skills and GPA or whatever, men sometimes get paid more than women.   And sadly, there's no country that is achieved gender equality in this world too.  We all need to face the fact that we need to change and fix it.  Realistically, achieving gender equality is not easy at all, not like snap your fingers and see, it's fixed.  Some trains have Women Only car in Japan, but not for men.  Some people told me that's not fair, sexist, or too much.  I heard there's Uber for women too.  I thought about it and I still don't know how I exactly feel but I can say that women tend to sexually harassed and be molested than men do, because there are a lot of people who don't understand what you should do and shouldn't in this society, so we "had to" make them.  And it'll change in the future, but it'll take a time.  I just wanted to share what I know and think about feminism, gender equality and feminist today :)

Thank you very very much for reading all of them!  I'm planning to write more about feminism, gender equality, and being a feminist, like body image and what more problems are.  If you're a feminist, I'd love to be friend with you!  And if you have any ideas, thoughts, requests or questions, please feel free to send me email, leave a comment, reach me on tumblr, twitter or anything.

(Taken by Ruru)
If you're interested in feminism more, you definitely should check my friend Ruru's blog.  She is studying photography in England, and she is a feminist blogger.  She focuses on body image and her blog is pretty easy to read and could be very interesting to most of you.  (She  usually posts in both English and Japanese.)  And look at this picture which she took!  I know this is not easy but stop caring what people think about you, and your body.  Your body is yours and if you love them, it'll shine.  "Not only a little fat on your stomach, the people who have big boobs, small boobs, very skinny, or chubby body... attractive people are attractive." - Ruru


Again, thank you very much!

xx hik



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