Time for a Feminist Rebrand: Let's Reclaim the 'F' Word!

Time for a Feminist Rebrand: Let's Reclaim the 'F' Word!

Oh, the drama of calling yourself a feminist today! 

If you have been on TikTok lately you have probably seen a video by a "Trad Wife" and if you haven't i'll quickly explain; Trad Wife is short for "traditional wife" and is a woman who embraces being a homemaker. Which is all well and good, except that they often demonize working women and really hate the term "boss babe".

Trad Wife  Estee Williams

Except the funny thing is, the very fact that they are building brands online and making money independently from their husbands and even the fact that they are making their own opinion well known online.... makes them the very thing they seem to hate. A feminist! As I have said in reply to these Trad Wives online, "babe... you're bossin". 

LOUD Melody

It’s time to REBRAND feminism. Let's ditch the negative connotations, and highlight its core principles. 

What is a feminist?

Depending on where you look, feminism is either angry women burning their bras, Taylor Swift in her glittering glory, Barbie in all her plastic splendor, something that's gone too far, or something that needs to be taken further... while wearing a pink hat. And no, you don't need to be a woman to be a feminist. Or even like the color pink. 

In a 2023 YouGov survey, less than half of respondents from the US identified as feminists when asked directly. But when given the dictionary definition of feminism—believing women should have the same rights, power, and opportunities as men—45% to 77% of respondents said, "Hey, that's me!" So, what's going on here?

Is Taylor Swift a Feminist Icon?

Search "Taylor Swift feminist" and you'll find a flood of articles, even academic papers, debating if she's the queen of female empowerment or just a performative white feminist. Known for her heart-wrenching breakup songs and her savvy business moves (like re-recording her albums to reclaim her rights), Swift is a powerhouse. She's also a billionaire who donates millions to charities and helps fans pay bills. So, is she a feminist? Yes! She’s also a woman who’s smashed through the glass ceiling and helps others along the way so she's also a freaking Babbs!

Barbie: From Beauty Ideal to Feminist Lightning Rod

Remember when Barbie was just a doll with impossible beauty standards? Fast forward to the 2020s, and she’s sparking outrage for starring in a film that mocks patriarchy. Some critics called the movie "alienating, dangerous, and perverse," yet it became a mega-hit, unsettling those who fear the women’s rights movement. 

Personally, I LOVED taking my daughter to see it. In particular the speech about how impossible it is to be a woman REALLY hit home for me. However, while I feel this movie was a smash hit for anyone who already identifies as a feminist, it did little to bridge the gap between modern feminist and those who hate modern feminism. But that's because it was a freaking movie. It was meant to entertain and be over the top. It's purpose was not to define modern feminism. 

The Social Media Spotlight

Thanks to social media, feminism has never been more visible. The #MeToo movement exposed the pervasive nature of sexual harassment and assault, showing that many men were clueless about the power imbalances women have faced for eons. Unfortunately, in today's age, social media can create witch-hunts and cancel culture. This movement came for the truly vile but brought along some questionable cancelations only furthering the divide between feminism and fans of comedians. 

Hollywood now boasts diverse casts, and workplaces are adopting quotas for equity. But these efforts sometimes feel like box-ticking exercises, leading to cries of “feminism has gone too far.” A recent poll showed only 38% of US consumers see feminism as positive, while 19% think it's negative.

“Feminism Has Gone Too Far”: A Generational Divide

Half of millennials and Gen Zers believe society has gone too far in promoting women's rights. This could mean they've encountered less gender inequality. But look closer, and you'll see women in countries like Yemen and Afghanistan still face severe restrictions, abortion is banned in 14 US states, and women are now drowning in careers and motherhood trying to "have it all". Lest us forget that we are currently choosing between two old white men to be the leader of America before electing a woman!

Girlboss Feminism: A Shiny Distraction?

First-wave feminism fought for basic rights like voting and property ownership. Fast forward, and "girlboss feminism" emerged in the 2010s, celebrating women becoming CEOs and entrepreneurs. Books like ‘#GIRLBOSS’ and ‘Lean In’ inspired many, but this brand of feminism gave birth to the idea that you not only could "have it all" but if you weren't doing it all and proving it online, then you weren't enough. This narrative has been crippling women for decades now and I'm ready to blow this idea up!

We can have it all. But is that what we really want to be fighting for? We are freaking exhausted! Figuring out a way to balance careers and motherhood has yet to be figured out, according to every working mom I know. 


What Do Women Want in 2024?

Here’s a quick wishlist for the modern feminist:

- **Bodily Autonomy:** Access to reproductive healthcare without criminalization.

- **Safety in Public Spaces:** Freedom from harassment.

- **Legislative Protection:** Laws against femicide and non-consensual sex, and institutions that protect women from abusers.

- **Economic Fairness:** A care income for unpaid domestic roles, ending the "pink tax," and ensuring women participate in policy-making.

- **Online Safety:** Protection from online harassment and disinformation campaigns.

And while that was a quick summary of all the things we are still fighting for as feminist in 2024, my mission is to find a way to empower women to follow their dreams while balancing the full spectrum of being a woman. Why are we always putting ourselves last? 

You shouldn't have to choose between being a "trad wife" or a "girl boss" and you certainly shouldn't have to drink a bottle of wine every night to manage it all. We shouldn't have to pretend that we are the same as men to have equal pay and opportunities. We are different but our differences make a work force better. 

One thing we should be fighting harder for as modern feminist, is a year of paid maternity leave followed by rejoining the workforce without being penalized for taking that time off! Without this choice, we see moms joining predatory MLM's because there is no viable option to working less hours while raising our kids. 

How Do We Get There?

How we achieve these new goals is what I think will define the modern feminist. Do we burn our bras, say we hate men, or blast our misogynistic employers on social media? Or do we emulate Martin Luther King and the "Love is Love" movement and leave the aggressive approaches in the past? Trust me, I am often upset by the imbalance of men and women, but I firmly believe you catch more flies with honey than vinegar. And the very fact that the word Feminist makes people cringe, even though they believe in it's core values, tells me it's time to try a new approach. 

So, let’s bring back the 'f' word with flair and positivity. Feminism should not be a dirty word. It should be a delicious word that promotes a bright future for our Babbs. What's a Babbs? Learn more HERE

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