Feminism Column: Be ***Flawless

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WORDS | Josephine Clark-Wroe

The close of 2013 saw many lists, gifs and videos filled with either: how far feminism has come, or how far we still have to go, and while it was comforting reflecting on the successes, it can also be daunting looking towards the future.

Anyone who has listened to Beyonce’s new self-titled, visual album (which is everyone) will be aware that the word ,Feminist, is resurfacing with all sorts of positive (and still sometimes negative) connotations. Beyonce’s song “***Flawless” features an excerpt from Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s TEDx talk from 2013, titled “We Should All Be Feminists”.

Excuse the horrid cliché, but this was literally music to my modern day, feminist ears. Being the outspoken feminist, Beyonce worshipping, media student that I am, I went on to watch the entire TEDx talk, and fell head over heels with the ideas discussed. (Not to mention that I now have a topic that will help me survive the five or so essays that will be thrown my way this semester). It is such an informative video that discusses how Feminism benefits both women AND men, through the deconstruction of stereotypical gender roles. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is eloquently spoken, humorous, and more importantly, does not point fingers or direct blame, which is a breath of fresh air on the subject.

She discusses how the attributes that are important towards an individual’s survival, or success, are no longer physical strength, but instead, intelligence, creativity, and innovation stating:

“We have evolved, but it seems to me that our ideas of gender have not evolved”.

So with feminism, comes gender, and neither of these are easy conversations to have (and this column is only 300 words); but it is crucial that we begin to create change towards our preconceived ideas of gender roles in order to be the “***Flawless” individuals that I know you all are.