Sunday, 2 November 2014

Why I Don't Need a Sweatshop T-Shirt To Prove That I'm a Feminist

Feminism  - the advocacy of women's rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes.

Feminism, in my opinion, is a movement that is taking the world by storm in aim to gain equality globally. In wasn't until Emma Watson's recent #HeForShe campaign that I felt feminists have had much media coverage or publicity. The fact is, women (in the Western world) are fighting back, and stronger than ever. Although I'm sure all feminists would love to diminish misogyny and male chauvinism entirely, there will always be narrow-minded patriarchal arseholes in the world and unfortunately, there is nothing we can do about it (that isn't immoral or illegal). Instead, most feminists are fighting for global equality, and there are many charities/activist groups set up on the basis of this, one of which being The Fawcett Society.

The Fawcett Society is one of the UK's leading charities for women's equality and rights, who aim to gain full equality in British society today. Some things they plan to change are the gender pay gap and the men to women ratio in parliament, which is currently 4:1. The Fawcett Society have been extremely consistent throughout all of their campaigns, specifically their new 'This is What a Feminist Looks Like' t-shirt that was launched with ELLE Magazine a couple weeks ago.

Now, let's get to the heart of this issue here. Although I support(ed) their campaign and thought it was a great way to fund future campaigns and help women globally, I didn't feel buying the t-shirt was necessary, and I'm bloody glad I didn't. It has been drawn to my attention recently that although the t-shirts were thought as being produced ethically in the UK, it has been revealed that they've been anything but. These t-shirts are being mass-produced in Mauritian 'sweatshops' by women for 62 pence an hour so that we, in the western world, can buy a £45 t-shirt to show how much we care about women's rights world wide. Ironic, right?

Regardless of the conditions the t-shirts have been made in, why do you have to buy a t-shirt to prove that you're a feminist anyway? Now, I don't want to be deemed as a hypocrite, as recently I was involved in a debate on Twitter with someone who told me to 'stop shoving your non-revolutionary opinion down my throat' because myself and others had posted articles/posts pertaining to feminism on our own social media sites. However, this particular individual perceived these posts as 'whining'. Let me get this straight, I do not post real-world problems on social media to prove that I'm a feminist, just like I don't think I need to buy a t-shirt to prove that I'm a feminist.

Feminism is about freedom, so I will post what I like. And if you're an individual who feels strongly about buying a 'This is What a Feminist Looks Like' t-shirt for charity, then do so. Just be aware of the conditions these t-shirts are made in.

But hey-ho, each to their own,

- D

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