Recently, I watched a TED Talk by Tavi Gevinson about feminism. As a teenager, her analysis of strong female characters in literature and on television was interesting. She stated in her talk that strong female characters are often simple and non-complicated. She goes on to discuss how in the “real world” that is not the case. She states that strong female characters are complicated and multi-faceted. She also states that strong female characters are characters who have weaknesses or flaws, but they are relatable.
https://embed-ssl.ted.com/talks/tavi_gevinson_a_teen_just_trying_to_figure_it_out.html“>Tavi Gevinson Ted Talk
Strong female characters should be based on the real world view, not a Barbie imitation of life. Strong female characters should be complex and multidimensional, because I can’t honestly think of one woman I know who is simplistic. It is interesting that as a teenager she sees the contradictions associated with being a strong woman. She sees that it is difficult to be smart and pretty, to be strong and feminine.
Tavi identified an interesting misconception of feminism. “Feminism is not a rule book,” she states, it’s a conversation, a process. I’ve never really taken the time to think about feminism like that before. Honestly, if you had asked me if I was a feminist, I’d probably have told you that I’m all about equal rights and equal pay for women, but that I’m not necessarily a feminist. The idea of feminism that is often publicized is that of extremely radical people doing outrageous things to make a point. Often times I think the message is lost in the hoopla of the event. I think some women feel that there is a rule book for feminism and if you aren’t out there protesting, you are not truly a feminist. The truth of the matter is that feminism isn’t necessarily about loud protests. Feminism is apparent in many with quiet, conscientious efforts to make the stature of women in our world better. These quiet approaches are just as important as any loud demonstration. Many women are quietly and conscientiously moving to better the world for women. These women are feminist, but may shy away from calling themselves that because of the media depiction of feminism.
I enjoyed reading Tavi’s perception of feminism. I wholeheartedly agree that feminism isn’t a rule book. Feminism is a conversation and a process. Everyone can contribute to feminism in their own way by standing up for what is right for our gender and by making important contributions to society.