Feminism, is often a subject that I feel that I need to tiptoe very carefully around. I am almost certain I do not stand alone on this front either. On the one hand I believe that it should be a given that a girl or a woman has feminist sympathies but on the other hand, I despise the stigma that comes along with calling myself a ‘feminist’ ..you know the usual stereotype of an angry, man-hating woman. So, after hearing that Elle magazine are launching a campaign to ‘rebrand’ feminism I thought, great! However, doubling back on this, I have to ask, is feminism something that actually needs rebranding after all?
Rebranding feminism and giving it a more attractive and appealing image seems extremely trivial in the face of the issues of equality that it stands for. Surely, softening up an image, that stands for a cause that, let’s face it, does not need softened, surely this will be harmful to the entire cause at large given that we do not live in an essentially equal society as of yet? It is naive to think that ‘rebranding’ feminism and making it more attractive to the nation, will immediately wipe out or even replace all preconceived stereotypes of man hating anger. If anything it will simply undermine the progress that has been made throughout the history of feminism. It is not something that can be given a makeover through a bit of a fleeting, weak and somewhat flat campaign of girl power.
Perhaps instead of attempting to give feminism a ‘rebranding’ Elle should celebrate and embrace feminism as we know it. Rebranding it recognises that we should pay heed to feminism’s stereotypes and allow them to shush us into submission. I have been told that the things that are worth doing are never going to be easy and if we look throughout the history of feminism, adversity has been there from the beginning – a ‘rebrand’ isn’t going to make this disappear. So, perhaps it should be realised that feminism is going to face adversity no matter what and that adversity should be taken in our stride because it is, in the long run, going toward the greater good of women’s rights. The stereotypes seem trivial at best when the very crux of feminism, women’s rights, is remembered as the very heart of what it stands for.