Friday, March 24, 2017

"We Should All Be Feminist."

First of all, can we all have a round of applause for RiRi? Having recently been awarded the 2017 Humanitarian of the Year by Harvard Foundation, Rihanna has really been out here being a complete bada$$ in true form, silently building, and consistently winning in varying avenues. This post isn't about her or anyone else for that matter, but more about how fashion can be used to speak to and shift the culture forward. 
I love the message imprinted on Christian Dior x Rihanna we should all be feminist shirts. Lately, these shirts have been everywhere and although they cost way outside of my tax bracket ($710), I do know that a percentage of the proceeds are being donated to the Clara Lionel Foundation, which advocates for education, health, and justice within poverty stricken communities around the world. If I were able to support, I absolutely would. 
Read more on The Sky Box Suite's latest Style Report  --------------->

For a long time, I was hesitant to refer to myself as a feminist. I never really liked the word, simply because of the weight it carried and the expectations that came attached, which is all a matter of perception anyway. I was afraid to place myself in that box, afraid of the responsibilities and expectations that came attached to it. Now that I better understand the range of what it means to be a feminist, I don't mind the title and I wear it with pride. 

We should all be feminist is a statement that challenges the idea that you have to be a woman to be feminist. I find that to be interesting, especially with all the controversy surrounding transgender reform and LGBT rights. I won't dive too deep into the political side of that, but we are now living in a time where the agenda is to sort of influence people to live beyond labels. When I wrote that piece on the BLM movement last summer, I mentioned something along the lines of not having to be something to stand up for what is right, because I don't necessarily think you have to black or of the African diaspora to support that movement; I feel the same way towards feminism. 

Women's empowerment is so important, because when I think of the ways in which women exist in the world, and how understated and underpaid we still are in 2017 in comparison to men, I know that women are the key to the future. Not only are we responsible for bringing life into the world, therefore future generations cannot exist without the vessel of a woman, we have always played a key role in the development and infrastructure of society. None of this is to say that we don't need men or that we are better off without them, but that our placement is equal and goes beyond the expectations constantly thrown at us. 

Women in sports, for instance, are one of the many industries where women are not as financially set as men are. Anytime I can clearly see a woman in the WNBA play with just as much-if not, more-heart as a man in the NBA and know they live under a totally different and imbalanced tax bracket, it irritates my soul. According to sources, players in the WNBA make, on average, somewhere between $37,000-$72,000 per year; meanwhile, the NBA is paying those boys quadruple that (no exaggeration) their rookie year as just the minimum salary. In essence, they're both doing the exact same thing. It's mind boggling if you take the time to do basic research and something I really can't begin to understand. The point is: Female athletes deserve a pay increase...indefinitely. 

Needless to say, I'm inspired by the uproar of individuals who call themselves feminist and I'm proud to be a voice in that movement. There are extremes to everything, but anyone who makes genuine efforts to uplift others shouldn't be silenced. It doesn't matter how one identifies self, as long as their hearts are in the right place.

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