I am currently stuck in the teenage years. Yes that’s right, I’m stuck in a bubble of endless dreams and I am part of the “new generation” of tech-saavy, loud-mouth, opinionated fools who are allowed way too much say on the Internet. Isn’t youth such a wonderful thing?
However, it seems to be the only time when you are actually able to change your mind a thousand times. Yet it also makes you liable to the constant label of ‘hypocrite’ as it appears as though your thoughts are conflicting. I prefer to think of it as though my thoughts are stuck in the Big Brother House (my head) as there are so many different things going on up there and they are always fighting each other.
It’s accepted that being a teenager isn’t easy so I’m not even going to start on the toils and troubles of it, you get it. Now imagine being a feminist teenager. Not only do you get weird looks for absolutely any movement you make that is different from the rest but now you the face the stereotypes; Future cat lady, lonely, angry, sexually frustrated, aggressive. The list goes on.
Luckily this is not in reference to me as a person (otherwise I would exclaim ‘Bully!’) but to feminism in general. When occasionally the topic of feminism arises in a lesson, the group consensus is that it means ‘angry’. I just shake my head…if only they knew the half of it.
This brings me to the problem I face. How come I am one of the few teenagers in my school that are comfortable saying I’m a feminist? I understand that everyone is still busy “finding themselves” but what are they scared of?
My friend recently commented that there is something about words ending in ‘-ist’ that freaks everyone out. I think that she has a point. Yet I also think that we don’t hear enough about feminism. It isn’t taught or mentioned and when it is, it’s always in the past or portrayed as angry. I was fortunate to find Caitlin Moran and have the interest to Google more. However, many others are ignorant to what it is and I just feel like standing up and having a good ol’ rant.
I believe that we have a duty to inspire the next generation. We need to make feminism loud again. Not just for those men and women already involved in it but for those who are strangers to it. We need to go further than telling girls at school that we are ‘equal’ and job done. We need to educate young people on why we need feminism today.
This leads me to the end of my blog but the beginning of my question: How do we inspire teenagers?