Feminism 101: Y Chromosomes Permitted

obama-feministWho truly knows what feminism is? Is feminism the extremist behaviour of women seeking superiority over men? Is feminism the act of drawing attention to the inequality that women face? Is feminism simply a myth? So many questions, so few answers!

But, wait, there is an answer. Feminism is women seeking equality. So does this mean feminism is just the concept of being against sexism? If so, why is it called feminism? Why is it fem- if it’s equality for all?

Women have their own movement for equality because that’s how bad we’ve had it. Before you call me a ball-breaker, or a feminazi, or some other pointless and actually quite irrelevant name, just think about it.

Have you heard of anti-Semitism? Anti Semitism is prejudice and discrimination again people of the Jewish faith; racism against Jews. How come Jewish people get their own special word? Let me answer that for you; have you heard of the holocaust? Where one of the oldest religions in the world was penalised because… well, because they were different.

Feminism is kind of like that; it has it’s own name because the female people have been discriminated against for so long, with little relevant reasoning as to why. Each wave of feminism has brought about action for something different. In the early 20th century in Britain, it was the fight for suffrage – the right to vote – and we won! Looking back now, there was no true reason as to why women were any less able to vote in a well-informed manner like their male counterpart. I’m not saying all women are highly intelligent, some are pretty idiotic, but so are some men. So surely we can conclude that some of all sexes (and some of those who don’t adhere to gender-binary standards) are foolish. Everyone is stupid, regardless of what’s in your pants.

Yet, the female comedian, Jenny Collier, was recently pushed out of a line up because there were already “too many women on the bill”. Now, I have the sneaking suspicion that her email didn’t come from a concerned individual worried about men’s rights, but rather from an unfortunate soul who clearly didn’t think through what he was doing when he sent an email likely to cause uproar from all right-minded people. How can someone get away with something so obviously sexist? Some people say that female comedians just “aren’t as funny as men”; but that isn’t even what’s being questioned here. It’s agreed that Jenny Collier is funny, so why is she being brushed off? If she wasn’t funny enough, not a good enough comedian, then that might be fair reasoning; cancelled an act because they aren’t what you want in terms or their skills – fair enough. However, cancelling an act because their 23rd chromosomal pair is ‘all wrong’.

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It’s true that in some professions, men suffer discrimination. In jobs like teaching or nursing, any man who enters the career “isn’t a real man”. It’s a problem, but that is a whole separate issue that would require and whole separate post. Men can suffer discrimination due to their sex, but how often does it happen? More often than not, women are judged purely based on the fact that they are women. Even women who were born women and underwent gender reassignment will suffer the same oppressive behaviour towards them.

It is time that people realised that women are subjects, not objects; active, not passive. Even women can be sexist towards women without realising. A woman and a man are just people. Once we learn to view people as people, we can progress. Men may love women, but so can women, and men can love men! More than ever, gender and sexuality has become fluid and broad, so how come something as archaic as sexism is still lingering like a bad smell?feminist

Feminism means equality for women. I personally think that we should use a different word, a word for equality for all genders, an inclusive word that is neither feminine nor masculine. I can only hope that if there were a non-specific word, then people would stop judging this book by its cover and start understanding the cause of the friction. Feminists are not crazed women, controlled by their wombs. Feminists are fighters for equality, womb or not.

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Sex Is A Four-Letter Word

Sex…? Ew! Gross! Don’t talk about yucky sex in public!

However, it’s a fact of life that some people have sex. You don’t have to agree with how they do it, who they do it with, why they do it, or anything else. It is VITALLY important that young people who are sexually active, are safe when doing so. Although some sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are easily treatable, some can cause infertility or even prove to be fatal. Scary, right?

I won’t quiz you about the symptoms of chlamydia or the treatment for gonorrhea, I will merely stress the importance of safe sex.

Safe sex does NOT refer to whether you like to be a bit kinky, that is entirely up to you and your partner, it simply refers to using contraception so prevent infection or unplanned pregnancy. Obviously pregnancy isn’t so much of a problem for gay couples, but infection is just as possible!

It is ridiculously easy to get contraception in Britain. If you are under the age of 25, contraception is available totally free on the NHS! It is available to people of many ages – you don’t have to be 16 (the age of consent in the UK) to access this service. You can access free contraception confidentially from as young as 14 (this isn’t to say that underage sex is encouraged, you just ought to be safe when doing it).

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This free contraception includes hormonal contraception for girls and young women (the combined/demi pill, the implant, the injection etc) and barrier methods for both sexes (condoms, and ‘the female condom’ aka the femidom). It is always recommended that you use a barrier method, such as condoms, which works brilliantly alongside hormonal contraception – super safe!

To access free contraception on the NHS, simply search online for your nearest sexual health clinic (which may be within your school or college). Free contraception is also available in forms of samples from some ‘adult’ websites such as http://condomdeal.co.uk/ (10 free condoms, £1.95 postage) and http://www.keepitwrapped.co.uk/ (3 free Durex condoms). These are just a few recommendations on ways to avoid any boo-boos like infections or surprise babies.

Laci-GreenOne excellent source of information and knowledge on all things sex is the YouTube channel of Laci Green, host of Sex+. Click here to visit her channel.

Moral of the story: if you want to have sex, that’s cool, just stay safe.

(Note: if you don’t understand the title, have a search online as to the meaning of ‘four letter words’, they’re perhaps even less taboo than sex.)