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One of the dirtiest words we have in the English language these days seems to be the ‘f’ word – not the four letter one that we’re taught not to say when we’re small, but the ever terrifying ‘feminist’. A lot of people more eloquent than me have discussed this particular phenomenon, so I won’t try to replicate that here (but if you want to have a read of some, head over to Why Not Feminism?, I’m not a feminist but… or for something a little more sarcastic and absolutely brilliant, Clem Ford’s Simple Steps to Becoming a Real Feminist). What we at Hollaback! Melbourne have decided to do is start a new series that will be brought to you fortnightly called The F Word. What we will do in this series is talk about feminism, and go over a few of the terms that are thrown around a lot not only here on our site, but ones that you’ll often see elsewhere in discussions of street harassment, victim blaming, rape culture and other topics.
It can be difficult to decipher what a feminist argument means when terms like patriarchy, victim-blaming, misogyny and structural inequality are used. It can make it hard to see how feminism relates to your life and experiences when you don’t personally use these terms, or even necessarily know what they mean (and that’s absolutely nothing to be ashamed of – I’m still not 100% sure I know how to explain some of these!).
With The F Word series, we aim to break down what a lot of these terms mean to help make the street harassment conversation accessible for everyone. Every person’s experiences are important and worth telling, and no one should feel that they don’t have anything meaningful to add. The terms we will discuss can help you to articulate the problems and inequalities you see.
We will kick off The F Word next week with a piece on VICTIM BLAMING: what the term means, some common examples, and why it’s such a problem. If you have any particular terms that you’d like us to explore then let us know! Much like Takedown Tuesday, we love to have suggestions from our readers and submitters. We want you to get involved, because by getting involved, learning more about these issues and talking about them with your friends and family, you can help to make a real change in our society.
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