We asked you to talk about feminism


Whether it is on social media or down in the street, for good or ill, feminism occupies a prominent place within our society. From anti-feminist movements to the most extreme pro-feminist ones such as Femen, points of view on the feminist question are diverse, to say the least. Thanks to their answers to a small questionnaire, we will confront the opinions of three women and three men and try to understand how feminism is truly perceived.

Julien, 18 years old, rap fan and beatmaker, Nancy

Myriam, 22 years old, broadcast journalist, now at Booska P, Nanterre.

Yoan, 16 years old, high school student, writes a lot on his own time, Nancy.

Nabil, thirty-ish, IT, Paris.

Marie, 17 years old, high school student, Houdemont.

Leïla, 26 years old, journalist, Paris.

Myriam : To me, feminism is just normality. Equality between men and women. You know, parity !

Marie : It’s simply believing that women have the same rights as men.

Leïla : Being a feminist means to position yourself and act in favor of gender equality. It’s working towards a society where men and women are seen as equals, without the supremacy of one upon another. It’s believing that men and women must be equals in every aspects of life. It’s being financially independant thus the importance of the fight to reach equal pay between men and women (there is still a long way to go). It’s dressing the way we want without fear of sexist comments, it’s having control over our own body. It’s refusing that our anatomy must define our personality, our skills and our chances in life.

Julien : To me, feminism is an action lead by a group of women to enable gender equality where it doesn’t exist, like in the workplace.

Marie : I find it to be such an obvious notion, I’m always shocked to see that, in our time, sexism and inequality still remain. I might sound naive but I just can’t understand how people can not do anything about these inequalities. It’s time to stir yourself !

Myriam : With social medias, we quickly stumble upon clichés like Femen daring nudity or women complaining about pretty much any little thing as soon as there’s no gender equality.

Yoan : I believe men owe themselves to be feminists, I consider myself as such. But unfortunately, some feminist women, volontarily or not, exclude men from this movement, because sometimes hatred is ill placed.

Nabil : I think feminism is twisted by hysterical women on social media who ruin the ones who are fighting the good fight. I have words in mind : domination and extermination.

Julien : Feminism excludes men since most of the time men are glorified and don’t have anything to complain about compared to women.

Marie : Absolutely not ! We don’t fight to have more rights than men but to have just as many ! The cause is open to men and it would make things change quicker if they were to help us.

Leïla : You can be a man and be a feminist. Feminism isn’t a women only movement, just like fight against homophobia isn’t an LGBTQ only one or racism just to be fought by black people… Nevertheless, more still than women, men shouldn’t say that they’re feminist, they should live it.

Yoan : Feminism condemns a society based on patriarcal principles ; of course I link feminism to fighting.

Marie : Obviously, an everyday fight. Equality. Solidarity.

Julien : I link the word ‘cause’ to feminism.

Yoan : It’s the legacy of great women who devoted their lives to improve women’s condition, to the fight for gender equality. Simone de Beauvoir, Simone Veil, Rosa Parks, Frida Kahlo, Malala et Michelle Obama, there are so many others but they in particular inspire me.

Marie : Simone Veil died recently. She fought for the right to abortion, which is primordial, it must not have been easy but she didn’t budge and I have a lot of admiration for her, she allowed women to reclaim control over their own body. Recently, Emma Watson gave a brilliant speech about feminism, it moved me very much.

Nabil : Feminist leading figure ? I’d say Audrey Pulvar.

Leïla : My feminist models : my mom, my dad, Virginie Despentes (I understood I was a feminist when I read her essay « King Kong Théorie »).

Marie : A vraie meuf (slang for real girl) would be a gurl who fights to accede to rights she deserves as a woman, and leave to the next generations better living conditions. A real gurl stands on her own two feet, enjoys life and above all does her best to reach her goals and be happy.

Myriam : To me a vraie meuf is a iurl who’s true to herself. Who stands on her own two feet. Who is herself. Who won’t want to change to be like or please others. It’s a chick who owns who she is. Especially personality wise. Who has a strong personality and who can defend her ideas.

Yoan : A girl who fights for her rights and who isn’t anesthetize by a society that only seems to be fair !

Julien : A vraie meuf to me is a girl who naturally remains who she is, without facets, without hiding behind a role or a character.

Nabil : A girl who respects herself, who has a bit of modesty and who gives me her number (JK).

Leïla : There’s no vraie meuf. You can be ugly, frigid, hysterical, a loser on every aspect of your life, manly, excluded from the hot chick market and be a real gurl. Just like you can be attractive, sweet, feminin and coquette and be a real gurl. Whichever. The most important thing is to stay on your feet, to not be walked over and to fight like a lioness for fundamental rights. I have in mind a quote from Simone de Beauvoir’s « Second sex » : «“La “vraie femme” est un produit artificiel que la civilisation fabrique comme naguère on fabriquait des castrats ; ses prétendus instincts de coquetterie, de docilité, lui sont insufflés comme à l'homme l'orgueil phallique ; il n'accepte pas toujours sa vocation virile ; elle a de bonnes raisons pour accepter moins docilement encore celle qui lui est assignée. »

written by Chahinaz, translated by Anaïs