I wonder if everyone has the same definition of feminism; if we were all asked to give a SparkNotes summary of the movement, would we all come to the same conclusion?
A poll carried out by YouGov in 2018 revealed that only 34% of women in the UK identify as Feminists, despite the same report stating that eight out of 10 people believed that men and women should be treated equally in every way.
From this, it’s fair to say most people react to the F-word the same way someone gluten-free would react to bread.
Perhaps modern-day feminism has tangled itself into the British Class System and the terms and conditions are being appropriated according to your social status, skin colour and gender?
Feminism has always had a broad spectrum but recently the movement seems to have digressed into several different categories and subdivisions that accidentally contradict each other.
For example, Free Bleeding is a Feminist movement that gained popularity in 2014 when a troll on Twitter claimed sanitary products are a patriarchal tool that oppresses women. The Twitter prank tried to discredit legitimate categories within Feminism by saying; “What is free bleeding? It consists of us womyn bleeding with no restriction … Being able to menstruate is something that is an [sic] undeniably female characteristic. How DARE they try and oppress it.” The prank was largely mocked, and the tweets were disregarded as unhelpful.
Although, the movement gained positive exposure in 2015 when Kiran Gandhi got her period the morning of the London Marathon and decided to ‘Bleed Free’ instead of wearing a sanitary napkin or a tampon. On her blog, Kiran revealed that she doesn’t necessarily believe in free bleeding but said; “women from a young age are told that their main value to society is that they must look beautiful, consumable, f*ckable. A period doesn’t fit into this category. So, it is made taboo.”
Fundamentally, Kiran said she was “advocating for it to be okay for women to speak comfortably and honestly about their own period.”
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Congrats to everyone running the #londonmarathon today. London is particularly special. I remember how the city rallied behind its runners in a way I never could have expected. I want to give some love to those out there cheering and supporting their marathoners – your light and joy is what helped me cross the finish line last year and will help thousands more cross the finish line today.
Despite this, the Free Bleeding movement still managed to hint towards a classist caveat as there was a rampant increase in feminists refusing to wear sanitary products during their period. In light of this, the founder of Bloody Good Period Gabby Edin said, “I think it is an immense privilege to be able to bleed free.”
Free Bleeding could be interpreted as a privileged snub towards period poverty.
It’s almost like they’re asking for creative gratification and choosing to glaze over the fact that more than 350,000 cis and trans girls have to miss school because they don’t have sound access to sanitary products.
It quickly gained recognition as a form of white feminism because the narrative can be seen as coming from a place of privilege. The movement fails to acknowledge the women, girls and people that simply cannot afford sanitary products, and bleed out of poverty – not privilege.
So, is Free Bleeding daring, or is it the perfect example of our digression?
- Prateek Kuhad – cold/mess | Audiotree Live
2. Frank Turner – Reasons Not to Be an Idiot
My sister has been playing this song all week and keeps telling me to pay attention to the lyrics.
3. Mahalia – Simmer (feat. Burna Boy)
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