Tag Archives: feminism

Taylor, you’re not alone.

You know why the disgust is on a whole new level?

It’s close to pimping.

Taylor Swift’s masters are her whole career. Her ‘body’ of work.

Then there are these types of men.

They make money from it.

They pimp it.

They try to control you, by controlling ‘it’.

— All without having to do the ‘work’ themselves.

The industry varies, but these ‘types’ do exist.

Toxic masculinity exists and yes, it transcends the workplace.

As a creative and as a woman, I’ve had my share of encountering men such as these. Disgusted, yes. But no longer surprised.

Yet thankfully, not all men are like the ones we’ve met in our careers and in our personal lives. In fact, it was best that you met them early on. Hopefully, you’ll know the signs even before you make that professional or romantic commitment.

Just letting you know: I’ve been there, I hear you and I stand with you. #IstandwithTaylorSwift

Ariana Grande: The New Face of the Young Feminist

I immensely enjoyed the feminist-charged open letter music star Ariana Grande made on social media. Apparently, the singer/actress has had it with the double standard women are still experiencing to this day.

arianna grande feminist rampage
Ariana Grande’s open letter on social media.

This standard, as she points out in her letter, is the significant disparity women are (knowingly or unknowingly) being thrown at today such as: sex, dating, relationships, and being valued as men’s property/conquest/trophy. She mentioned that she has so much better things to talk about other than who she’s seeing (or not seeing). At only 21, this young woman who is rising as one of the most watched out artists of her generation, is on the right track to empowering herself (and consequently, her young female fans as well). Brava Ariana!

For a woman who is much older than Ms. Grande, I’m glad that younger women today are beginning to sense that one-sidedness and becoming vocal about it. I applaud her for bringing her thoughts out into the open. However, young as she is, she has more to learn from her much experienced sisters. With that said, I would like to take the time to point out her seemingly contradicting letter vis-a-vis her current professional situation.

In an industry where sex sells, Ms. Grande will have to take a firm stand against the kind of lyrics that degrade women. In her recent hit ‘Love me Harder’, you would know immediately that this was a love song. However, there are ‘love songs’ and there are ‘love-making songs’:

“And if in the moment you bite your lip
When I get you moaning you know it’s real
Can you feel the pressure between your hips?
I’ll make it feel like the first time…”
– ‘Love me Harder’, Ariana Grande

From the lyrics above, the listener of the song immediately gets a mental picture of what the song is about. In my humblest opinion, if she were really adamant in battling this double standard, then her principles should reflect in her work as well. The young Ms. Grande should go beyond what normally ‘sells’ in her workplace.

In this day and age, there are still so many female singers who continue to make songs that sexually degrade both women and men. With young female artists like Grande who are now perceptive to that kindle of consciousness, they will be setting the tone for the kind of music young people will be listening to years ahead, which eventually translates to future culture.

I’ll try to cut her some slack on her lyrical choices for now. But hey, I’ve got to hand it to the girl, she’s on the right track.

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MissTolentino supports the HeforShe Movement

I was so moved with Emma Watson’s speech. I agree with her on so many points and I would like to share the full transcript of her speech with each and everyone of you.

I have also disliked the term “feminist” as it denoted an anger against men. I highly value men and boys, but society (and distorted views on gender differences) dictate that feminism should be on an aggressive and hating stance. It need not be. It’s time to break free from this stigma.

We don’t often talk about men being imprisoned by gender stereotypes, but I can see that they are, and that when they are free, things will change for women as a natural consequence…

I want men to take up this mantle so that their daughters, sisters, and mothers can be free from prejudice, but also so that their sons have permission to be vulnerable and human too, reclaim those parts of themselves they abandoned, and in doing so, be a more true and complete version of themselves. 

Attention Woman! Men are also our partners in achieving this freedom.

Brava Miss Watson!
***

Today we are launching a campaign called for HeForShe. I am reaching out to you because we need your help. We want to end gender inequality, and to do this, we need everyone involved. This is the first campaign of its kind at the UN. We want to try to mobilize as many men and boys as possible to be advocates for change. And, we don’t just want to talk about it. We want to try and make sure that it’s tangible.

I was appointed as Goodwill Ambassador for UN Women six months ago. And, the more I spoke about feminism, the more I realized that fighting for women’s rights has too often become synonymous with man-hating. If there is one thing I know for certain, it is that this has to stop.

For the record, feminism by definition is the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities. It is the theory of political, economic and social equality of the sexes.

I started questioning gender-based assumptions a long time ago. When I was 8, I was confused for being called bossy because I wanted to direct the plays that we would put on for our parents, but the boys were not. When at 14, I started to be sexualized by certain elements of the media. When at 15, my girlfriends started dropping out of sports teams because they didn’t want to appear muscly. When at 18, my male friends were unable to express their feelings.

I decided that I was a feminist, and this seemed uncomplicated to me. But my recent research has shown me that feminism has become an unpopular word. Women are choosing not to identify as feminists. Apparently, I’m among the ranks of women whose expressions are seen as too strong, too aggressive, isolating, and anti-men. Unattractive, even.

Why has the word become such an uncomfortable one? I am from Britain, and I think it is right I am paid the same as my male counterparts. I think it is right that I should be able to make decisions about my own body. I think it is right that women be involved on my behalf in the policies and decisions that will affect my life. I think it is right that socially, I am afforded the same respect as men.

But sadly, I can say that there is no one country in the world where all women can expect to see these rights. No country in the world can yet say that they achieved gender equality. These rights, I consider to be human rights, but I am one of the lucky ones.

My life is a sheer privilege because my parents didn’t love me less because I was born a daughter. My school did not limit me because I was a girl. My mentors didn’t assume that I would go less far because I might give birth to a child one day. These influences were the gender equality ambassadors that made me who I am today. They may not know it, but they are the inadvertent feminists that are changing the world today. We need more of those.

And if you still hate the word, it is not the word that is important. It’s the idea and the ambition behind it, because not all women have received the same rights I have. In fact, statistically, very few have.

In 1997, Hillary Clinton made a famous speech in Beijing about women’s rights. Sadly, many of the things that she wanted to change are still true today. But what stood out for me the most was that less than thirty percent of the audience were male. How can we effect change in the world when only half of it is invited or feel welcome to participate in the conversation?

Men, I would like to take this opportunity to extend your formal invitation. Gender equality is your issue, too. Because to date, I’ve seen my father’s role as a parent being valued less by society, despite my need of his presence as a child, as much as my mother’s. I’ve seen young men suffering from mental illness, unable to ask for help for fear it would make them less of a man. In fact, in the UK, suicide is the biggest killer of men between 20 to 49, eclipsing road accidents, cancer and coronary heart disease. I’ve seen men made fragile and insecure by a distorted sense of what constitutes male success. Men don’t have the benefits of equality, either.

We don’t often talk about men being imprisoned by gender stereotypes, but I can see that they are, and that when they are free, things will change for women as a natural consequence. If men don’t have to be aggressive in order to be accepted, women won’t feel compelled to be submissive. If men don’t have to control, women won’t have to be controlled.

Both men and women should feel free to be sensitive. Both men and women should feel free to be strong. It is time that we all perceive gender on a spectrum, instead of two sets of opposing ideals. If we stop defining each other by what we are not, and start defining ourselves by who we are, we can all be freer, and this is what HeForShe is about. It’s about freedom.

I want men to take up this mantle so that their daughters, sisters, and mothers can be free from prejudice, but also so that their sons have permission to be vulnerable and human too, reclaim those parts of themselves they abandoned, and in doing so, be a more true and complete version of themselves.

You might be thinking, “Who is this Harry Potter girl, and what is she doing speaking at the UN?” And, it’s a really good question. I’ve been asking myself the same thing.

All I know is that I care about this problem, and I want to make it better. And, having seen what I’ve seen, and given the chance, I feel it is my responsibility to say something.

Statesman Edmund Burke said, “All that is needed for the forces of evil to triumph is for good men and women to do nothing.”

In my nervousness for this speech and in my moments of doubt, I told myself firmly, “If not me, who? If not now, when?” If you have similar doubts when opportunities are presented to you, I hope those words will be helpful. Because the reality is that if we do nothing, it will take seventy-five years, or for me to be nearly 100, before women expect to be paid the same as men for the same work. 15.5 million girls will be married in the next 16 years as children. And at current rates, it won’t be until 2086 before all rural African girls can have a secondary education.

If you believe in equality, you might be one of those inadvertent feminists that I spoke of earlier, and for this, I applaud you. We are struggling for a uniting word, but the good news is, we have a uniting movement. It is called HeForShe. I invite you to step forward, to be seen and to ask yourself, “If not me, who? If not now, when?”

Thank you very, very much.