Let’s discuss what it means to be a feminist today, and yes, it means you can still wear make-up and be girly.
Today, I will be introducing a feminist named Deborah Frances-White. Not only is she a well-known feminist, she is also a well-known comdedian, owning her own podcast, The Guilty Feminist. This is one of the UK’s most famous and popular podcasts. A little background on Deborah Frances-White is that she was born and raised in Australia, by a family who became Jehovah’s Witnesses (a very religious denomination of Christianity). She focused on studying english throughout her college years at Oxford. She has written a new book to be published this spring 2022, Six Conversations We’re Scared to Have. She has reconstructed the definition of a modern day feminist. She wanted women to be loud for their voice to be publicly heard. She declares “Women are not getting killed, but men are killing us.”
Frances-White is determined to turn the world into a kinder, fairer place. She spoke at the digital vigil for Sarah Everard in early March regarding the police brutality faced by mourners. Women need to come together and rise up,” Frances-White says. “If women could stop men killing us, then we would have done it now. It’s not that we’re not vigilant enough… It’s not about what clothes we wear… women were killed by serial killers while they wore dresses down to their ankles. There are places in the world where women cover their bodies and their faces and they are still hurt.” I can relate to this, coming from a Middle Eastern background. My father is from Iran and my mother is from Afghanistan, and they often share heart-breaking news with me about husbands, or random men, who often viciously murder women for stepping out in the streets and “pretending as if they own the rights of a man”. These women are typically fully dressed head-to-toe, with coverings over their hair, neck, and sometimes face.
Deborah explains that you do not have to go crazy in order to be a modern-day feminist. She reconstructed the definition of a modern day feminist. She wanted women to be loud for their voice to be publicly heard. “Being noisy and annoying is the definition of a protest,” she says. “You are being noisy and annoying because you want to be listened to.
I found Deborah Francis-White’s arguments regarding women’s rights and equality for all was intriguing. A personal example that came to my mind is a time when I was a freshman in college and a group of my friends and I were discussing national issues related to gender inequality and discrimination on women. I spoke about my own opinions and some of my guy friends called me annoying and petty. They looked down upon me and said, “Keep your opinions to yourself, someone in a skirt can’t possibly have the right ideas on what is going on in the world.” For one, they thought that a “girly-girl” wearing a skirt cannot possibly be “intelligent enough” or “powerful enough” to raise their voice. Two, they imaged that any feminist, or woman with a voice, must have some type of “masculine” image. This is exactly the type of negative inequality that Deborah Francis White is steering away from. Frances-White isn’t prepared to let our right to protest go without a fight, and she is currently working on a campaign to help make this world a better, fairer place for us to all continue this journey of life.