I think that during my entire lifetime, up until this very point I have been on a journey towards owning my feminism. I suppose I haven’t quite understood what feminism is myself as the topic and movement have been made quite complicated by those who oppose it. The majority of those that oppose feminism or equality towards women are traditionalists that are comfortable in their conformity and entitlement. The women whom repress themselves I have learned through study have internalized misogyny. Internalized misogyny is when a woman unconsciously and consciously chooses to believe her sex to be inferior compared to men and so she must follow the rules of a patriarchial society for her own good, because she believes that her female hormones in her female body cause her to be not as intelligent or as competent as a man.
I have learned about the 4 waves of feminism and upon studying and researching this I now understand why some feminist think women like me who empower themselves through their sexuality are not feminists. It is because the second wave of feminist believed that women who displayed their sexuality were self objectifying themselves; therefore asking men to objectify them. I have since researched why it is almost impossible for a woman to objectify herself. It is not probable for a woman to objectify herself unless she sees herself as an actual object, sexuality is natural and our bodies are who we are, it is not the woman being sexy or sensual that is objectying heself but it is the lens that society has placed on women’s sexuality that objectifies a woman or women. You don’t self objectify by expressing or being your sexuality, but your sexuality can and has been used by big corperations and media to sell objects and that is objectification. Both men and women can be objectified through this lens but it is mainly women who are objectified in society run by corperations. Second wave feminist like Gloria Steinem divoced themselves from their sexuality so that men would stop objectifying them. Gloria Steinem accused Madonna the Pop Artist of self objectification, and according to Madonna she told her that she was not a true feminist because of her self objectification. But as I have stated that is a false concept. Many second wave feminist will see me much like Gloria has viewed Madonna. I found this out contacting a second wave feminist publishing house, they published a book on the ancient goddess to empower women but they found my nude or semi nude pictures of me as the goddess to be self objectifing. These woman have done so much for feminism but this is why the 3 rd wave was needed to further reform feminism.
But going back to the 1 st wave of feminism. The first wave of feminism was the martyr phase as women called themselves The Women’s Suffrage and suffer they did for all women to get the vote, they were beatenin the streets and went on long hunger strikes in protests, they were met with violence and hatred from the male based or patriarchal legal system as they attempted to make women people and not objects to be owned by their husbands and fathers. They had to shine a light onto the victimhood placed upon women and children under the control of men who were given the power and entitlement to turn violent and brutish at will.
Back to the second wave of feminism; the second wave was begining to adress rape culture by addressing pornography and the objectification of women’s sexuality; but by adressing this many feminist of that time stripped themselves of their own sexuality so as not be seen as self objectifying and this caused the feminist sex wars. Of course pornography needed to be adressed as it was and still is using women’s sexuality to sell product. Pornography was selling and sometimes still is selling the world on rape culture as it deplicts men’s orgams and men’s sexual satisfaction over women’s and it puts women into victim roles, and roles of domestic abuse. Pornography and the media also promoted and still promtes a unattainable body image towards women. Pornography created through the lens of the patriarchy or male entitlement is abusive towards women and if taken in that context it can and has cause violence and other abuses towards women. But taking sexuality away from women as being self objectification has caused women to erode there true empowerment by denying there basic nature; much like what happens in and through the lens of religion.
And so with that we see the 3 rd wave of a more modern day feminism that promotes the ideal of women stepping into their power through embrassing their sexuality, and loving the natural and unique curves of a realistic body type that is simply their own. We as 3rd and 4th wave feminist understand that the 1 st and 2 nd waves of feminism were needed as towards the evolution of feminism and we also understand that feminism will continue to evolve but; 3 rd and 4 th wave feminist are working to abolish the sterotypes placed upon feminist as ball bashing, angry, anti man haters. Many 3 rd and 4 th wave feminists even have difficulty with the word feminist as a way to define them because they feel it excludes men in the wording. I myself have had this conversation with my daughers who are 15 and 17 as to what young girls their ages think of the word feminism. They have told me ” We like the word humanism ” Listening to my daughers and other girls their age, I think it makes sense, because in order for feminism to work it has to include all of humanity. Many men who fear feminism fear that they are disposable to women and no longer are needed in their role of protectors; the truth be tol, that if a man believes and up holds the value of women as equals and is willing to act and speak out in the defence of equality he is very much needed by women and all of humanity. The modern day feminist or humanist is about the intesection of all these roads, towards justice and equality for all.
I am a 4th wave feminist as I use social media to attempt to share and enlighten others towards justice, equality and social acceptance of all humanity. I believe we need to constantly be reforming religion, laws and politics just as often as we have been reforming feminism towards humanism as women have only wanted to be treated as having ownership over themselves just as men do. The feminist/humanist believes in sexual freedom, race and gender equality and a free flowing spirtuality over the dogma, repression and diversion of religion.
As a 4th wave I own my sexuality, I express my sexuality as artistic and empowering and I believe everyone has a right to chose modesty or nudity, chastity or to explore their sexuality on their own terms.