THE BLOG
15/09/2015 13:46 BST | Updated 15/09/2016 06:12 BST

Feminism Needs to Stop Isolating Females

Your students' union may have tried to convince you otherwise, but burning your bra and refusing to shave your armpits doesn't make you a feminist. Nor does telling other women how to think, feel, act and live. And wearing a t-shirt with a tampon on just makes you an idiot.

I'm a woman, and I believe in equality. I also believe there is nothing wrong with a man holding the door open for me or paying me a compliment. These are things our radical feminist friends frequently condemn as patronizing and overpowering. I call it practical and polite.

I consider myself part of a growing group of women who are frustrated by radical feminists damaging the very cause they claim to support and making a mockery out of a movement was created to promote the equality of men and women.

For those that say there is no need for feminism today - I beg to differ. But I understand that the way the movement is being conveyed lends itself to that conclusion. The way I see it, while we have a pay gap, FGM, domestic abuse, female infanticide and child marriage, there is a very real need for feminism. This isn't about not sweating the small stuff (I hate blatant sexism as much as the next woman), this is about refocusing our efforts.

Sadly, the above causes rarely get the air time or print paragraphs they really deserve. Instead, we are exhausted by stories about a woman overreacting to a man paying her an ill-thought comment on a social networking website, and a display of vulvas because apparently being pressured to pluck your pubes is a thing (but telling your man you prefer him clean-shaven is just fine.. right).

Unfortunately, at the moment radical feminists are shouting louder than actual feminists, those of us who strive for equality rather than a movement that is set on man-hating and denying "non-believers" the freedom of speech. Campaigns such as HeforShe are helping, but they aren't enough. We need He and She. We need men and women to come together in solidarity for a movement that places people at the heart of it, not a specific gender.

We don't need to be vulgar, overly-obnoxious or rude to get our point across. But we should stand up to women who are damaging the cause, because after all, freedom of speech and having an opinion is what it is all about.