Feminism is a huge topic and many people define it in different ways. In “You’re a Hard Core Feminist. I swear.” by Jessica Valenti, she defines feminism as the “Belief in the social, political, and economic equality of the sexes” whereas Bell Hooks in her book, “Feminism is for Everybody,” defines feminism as “a movement to end sexism, sexist exploitation and oppression.” You might be thinking that both of their definitions mean the same thing, but both Valenti and Hooks are looking at them with a different perspective. Valenti is focusing more on the need for more equality between both genders, for example; equal pay, equal treatment, and equal opportunities in the workplace. In contrast, Hooks is focusing more on ending the stereotypes and the sexualization of women, for example; being able to look girly at work, having children if one wants, and not being sexually targeted at clubs or bars. Although, their definitions are a bit different, in their essence they are comparably similar as well. Both authors are saying that at the end of they day, they want equal treatment for everyone, which is what feminism is based on.
Feminism is important to these women because throughout their lives have they’ve experiences some type of inequality or have seen gender equality in the news or first hand. I personally have experienced inequality and even forms of sexual assault in some cases throughout my life, so I agree with these women, I want equality just as much as them. I would define a feminist as someone, who fights to end gender inequality and social injustice between the genders. I have always thought of this definition as my definition for feminism.
Furthermore, in “You’re a Hard Core Feminist,” by Jessica Valenti, a part that really struck me was the part about girls boycotting Abercrombie & Fitch because of a shirt that read: who needs brains when you have these (referring to a girls breasts). I find this very disgusting and profoundly upsetting. The girls that shop there are relatively young and they will grow older and think that the only importance is their “assets” meaning their breasts. I’m happy that people spoke up and got the shirt removed from the shelves.
By Kara Lawlor