I’m not sure I understand what feminism means any more, says Zoe Strimpel in The Sunday Telegraph. Or, rather, I have an idea about what it means, and “it worries me”. It seems to have been reduced to a set of “handy buzzwords” that enable women to live the most “sexualised, appearance-focused” life possible and pass this off as empowerment. Just look at the furore last week over an “unfiltered” Instagram picture accidentally posted by Khloé Kardashian to her 136 million followers. Not caked in cosmetics or touched up using digital wizardry, she almost looked as if she had something in common with normal 36-year-old mums. “The horror!” In trying to get the picture scrubbed from the internet (impossible, of course), she fell back on the “convoluted” language of modern feminism.
How things have changed. Feminism used to be about freedom, including freedom from the “shackles of beauty” that for millennia kept women down. But this is the social media age, and mainstream female worth has never been so starkly about “bodies, sexy dancing and big, glossy lips”. This is a regression, not an improvement. Calling it “feminism” is as depressing as it is counterintuitive. Sure, women have the right to be sexy. But “feminism used to be, and should be, about so much more”.
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