We live in a time when everyone is urged to forge a persona fitting of societies political correctness. We are consistently surrounding ourselves with the idea of being progressive. With this craze, it isn’t surprising that “activists” have become an easy target market for the capitalist agenda.
From television programmes switching up scripts to encorporate more “progressive” themes, to magazines showcasing “POC” and the LGBTQ+ community.
It isn’t a surprise that feminism would soon be dragged into the penny-snatching hype. Demi Lovato decided to patent feminism, “I considered myself a feminist before it was cool. Now everyone is claiming it”. Taylor Swift formed a “Girl squad” consisting of gorgeous, over the top, mostly white, superstars to attack another women over a man, and between appropriating culture and selling her friends out for a music career Beyonce has declared herself to be the face of black feminism.
But it doesn’t stop there. Emma Watson proved the perfect UN prop by carving her brand of feminism with the slogan “Men own everything else, we might as well give them feminism too”. Jennifer Lawrence packed on a few extra billions by calling out the gender wage gap in the…acting industry. Jaden Smith is breaking gender boundaries by, you know, stealing jobs from women in the modeling industry. Caitlyn Jenner is celebrating womenhood by making tons of money off the media and finally Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are showing their support for women whilst simultaneously showing there support for bombing to death innocent Afghan women.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to say that any of these people are not feminists or that they are actively extending ideas that are harmful to gender. Sure, many of these people are feminists. However, being a feminist doesn’t give you the right to attempt to claim feminism as your own, pretend to be an expert and then proceed to profit on it. In fact, these people are pushing more and more people away from feminism because they’ve depicted it as something that is exclusively set out for elitists. An elitist movement, with elitist objectives.
It would seem many of these people are missing the point of feminism. However, they all have something in common: the drive to make money. By selling, quite literally, a brand of feminism that is inconsistent with the goals of feminism.
Many young people have united around the idea of creating an equal society and this is a positive step forward. However, it’s sad that this drive is being wasted on these illusions of help. Listening to a song by a “feminist” artist or watching a movie with “feminist themes” isn’t helping anybody, isn’t making any change, isn’t being progressive at all. While millions of people battle issues regarding gender all across the globe, new age feminists are indulging in a fantasy of heroism.
It isn’t surprising though, considering capitalism can never and has never helped the position of women. A society that profits off the suffering of women is never going to magically transform into a society that benefits women regardless of how much we want it to. Feminism can never work in a society that puts a price tag on it. Feminism is not welcome in a capitalist setting because the core of feminism rejects the comodification of suffering for the sake of suffering.
If we are to move forward, radical change needs to happen in what surrounds our understanding of activism and what shapes our ability to retain an idea of reality within our world of activism.
Simply put we need, now more than ever, to reclaim Feminism.