Do we need a new word for feminism? According to a global and extensive study of 'Generation Y' or women who fall in the bracket of 21-34, they already quietly assume that they can do anything a man can do.
The findings reflect the change in mood regarding feminism, where issues such as women in sports, equality in pay and women in boardrooms are still relevant and important, but where today's women already have an innate sense of what's rightfully theirs.
Echoing this was Karen Pickering on The Guardian, who is a passionate feminist but nods to a direction we think feminism is going in, which is a focus on the self rather than ticking off a list of attributes or beliefs that someone else said was what made you a feminist. She writes: "The good news is it actually doesn’t matter what armchair commentators say about your feminism. It’s up to you to learn, listen, say sorry when you get it wrong, and grow into your values."
Feminism is absolutely a globally recognized way to effect change, but there's another way: By doing the same stuff at your intersection of the world, with or without calling yourself a feminist.
And the argument over who is or who isn't a real feminist can get pretty tired. Is Sarah Palin is allowed to be a feminist? Can you shoot whip cream out of your vag and still advance the cause? Is Taylor Swift a traitor? Is Sheryl Sandberg the right kind of feminist?
Looked at that way, it starts to feel like a special club, with feminist as the secret knock meant to ease our distrust of other women whose agendas we are not sure of.
The article also quoted Hannah Roisin who asked in Slate: "Women's success doesn't mean there are not battles to be fought. But insisting on the term "feminism" may be getting in the way of fighting them."
Caitlin Moran, in her book How To Be A Woman, wrote: "The first is, “What is modern feminism?” The second is “OK – given that there appears to be no such thing as clear-cut modern feminism, what would I like it to be?”"
This is very much the case the study is putting forward. Overall, women are more satisfied with themselves and happy in their own skin, but their key concerns - which is led by the recession - are having enough money and not losing their jobs. 65% of women feel like they are worse off now financially than they were before the recession started.
Long term, women want to focus on their families and their home life, which draws parallels with a piece published by New York magazine which ran interviews with the new wave of feminists who are 'having it all' by staying at home. The feeling that we have to compete with men on any terms - regardless of the sacrifice - is being rejected in certain quarters.
British women were most satisfied with their friendships, but less so in terms of work-life balance and mental and physical health. 29% of us describe ourselves as being 'stressed' while 20% are exhausted.
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A study published by Oxford University in May corroborates that with evidence that women suffer up to more than 40% more mental health problems than men due to juggling various roles day-to-day. Clearly Generation Y needs to be mindful of looking after themselves and allowing more work life balance into their lives.
Five countries were studied - China, US, France, Germany and the UK, and for British women, a long-term focus appeared to be on self, family and business.
The study, which was an exploration into women's lives, lifestyles and marketplace impact, was led by communications group FleishmanHillard, Hearst Magazines and leading research company Ipsos MediaCT.
Holly Ward, Director and Partner of FleishmanHillard UK says: “The influence of women on just about every aspect of home, workplace and marketplace continues to evolve and grow, with most generally satisfied with their lives. Though more educated but less well-paid than their spouses, there are signs that a new global generation of women is working hard to rectify that inequity. For Gen Y there is a simple, unspoken assumption that women can do anything men can do."
Do you feel that this is the case? If not, what are your key bugbears about being a modern woman in today's world?
Tell us in the comments below.
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