Many of you may have seen a few weeks ago the headline article Emily Hill published in the Spectator, regarding the “end” of feminism. When I saw the title ‘feminism is over, the battle is won. Time to move on,’ I was immediately appalled and angered; how foolish can a person be to genuinely think feminism is no longer needed? But then I took a step back and calmed down, for there was no point in getting angry if I had not yet read the actual article. Unfortunately it only got worse. It seems Hill, along with many many people, does not actually know the definition of feminism. And this makes me cringe. How can one write a headline piece in Britain’s longest running magazine and not even bother to do her research?
The definition of feminism, for anyone who did not know, is the social, political, economic equality of the sexes and it is called FEMinism because it fights to eliminate the negative connotations surrounding femininity and feminine qualities. It is quite clear that Hill does not know this and has totally focused on white feminism and chosen to rip it apart in this article. Although it is true that many do focus primarily on white feminism, this is not purely what the movement stands for and it should not be obsessed over. She uses examples from her own life and data regarding education in England to prove her point. Amy Poehler’s car analogy is a perfect response to these futile statistics. When asked about people denouncing feminism, Poehler replies with ‘That’s like someone saying “I don’t really believe in cars, but I drive one every day and I love that it gets me places and makes life so much easier and faster and I don’t know what I would do without it.”‘ Hill is bashing feminism because its done its job for her and now its no longer needed.
Another mistake Hill makes is believing that all feminists think that women should cover up? She references the beach body ready campaign in April this year, that was rightfully objected to by many women. However they were not objecting because the women was in a bikini but because it insinuated that only women of a certain body size were ready to strip off at the beach. One thing feminism fights for is that a woman should be able to wear whatever outfit she chooses without being objectified, whether that be shorts and a crop top or a burka.
The list goes on; she belittles street harassment, groups all feminists as internet trolls and downplays the caution taken against being sexually assaulted on a date (despite someone being sexually assaulted every 107 seconds in America and 70% of rape cases being date rape) to being ‘ridiculous’.
The biggest problem I have with this article is not what Hill writes but what she fails to write. She misses out the biggest issues women and young girls face; FGM, forced marriage, forced child pregnancies, young girls being traded for cattle, being stoned for adultery, being stoned for being a rape victim, rape victims being forced to marry their rapists, no right to an education… the list is endless. However, just as importantly, Hill totally disregards what feminism does for the struggles men face, as a result of patriarchal values; mainly raising awareness for male mental health and high male suicide rates. This is issues are also so so important and should not be disregarded.
Overall, my main problem with this article is the uneducated, sweeping statements it makes, based on generalisations and stereotypes, and honestly, Emily Hill, it is incorrect, it is poisoning and it is embarrassing.