I HONESTLY THINK September 2014 - Page 53

aware of the severe sexism in other societies where girls are denied access to education, face child marriage or other awful, prejudiced crimes. In India there is a statistic that every day 40 girls under the age of 15 are forced into prostitution. In some rural Muslim communities 'honour killings' are known to take place, which means a young girl is murdered by her family for being intimate with a man out of wedlock. Even if the girl is raped. There are incidents like this happening all over the world so if not for your own sake but for the women much less fortunate than you or I, call yourself a feminist and make sure these extremities come to an end.

Matt McVay for the Seattle Times 1982

STEP FIVE: Tell your best guys to join in this fun feminist party

It is a total misconception that only women can be feminist. Feminism is not a belief in female superiority, nor should it ever be defined thus.

We need our boys to help us move this thing forward. If we want to so much as attempt complete gender equality then we need to start by having both male and female advocates. Tell them that if they believe we are all equal, then by default they are feminist. Again, go back to step one and tell them also to not be afraid of the word. Tell them about Bill Bailey, Joseph Gordon Levitt, Prince Harry, Professor Green, and so many more, all of whom openly call themselves feminist and (in my personal opinion) are all fairly cool guys. Tell them it is not just cool to be a feminist but vital for them, their friends and their daughters and sons.

STEP SIX: Be nice about it

The reason feminist has been tagged with negative connotations in its history is because people have been a little intimidating about it, or misused the word entirely. Admittedly it’s hard not to become the angry feminist stereotype everyone fears because often society can be frustrating but that’s not always the attitude that will progress us forward. If you stick to your guns in an articulate, educated and respectable manner then people will listen. Just remain persistent and calm and collectively we should be creating improvements. We already are.

I hope this guide has helped you begin your career as a people loving equality fanatic. Remember: Feminism isn’t a bad word, stay calm, always argue your case and stay true to your beliefs. We’ll reach true gender equality someday, just hop on this feminist bandwagon and we might reach it a little faster.

MOLLIE SEMPLE