For that last few years, I’ve been happily administering Girl Guides of Canada –Guides du Canada National’s online community. Our posts have been about Guiding stories and big-picture issues related to empowering girls and young women. Some of our best shares on Facebook have been about girl’s self-esteem, the bias against women in the media, and the sexualisation of the female body.
In a nutshell: feminist ideals.
Yet I have never used the word feminist (or feminism) when writing a post for this audience; it has only showed up once in a comment to a post made by someone else. So it would seem that while the concept of female empowerment is top-of-mind for our community, the 8-letter word “feminism” appears to be taboo.
Should this matter?
I don’t think so. As long as young girls, teens and women are living the ideal, the presence, or absence, of the word shouldn’t make a difference.
The glue that ties a rural girl Member from Alberta with an urban Nova Scotia executive and adult Member, is their membership in Girl Guides. While one Member may choose to wear her feminism like a badge of merit, another may not even consider it as part of who she is.
And that’s ok.
Isn’t that what feminism is all about?
By Talya, GGC Social Media Coordinator.
(I recently recalled that I was a scout when I was growing up overseas! Maybe Guiding/Scouting as a girl does impact your career choices!)
I disagree. The word feminism shouldn’t be taboo; we need to reclaim it so that anyone who believes in equality of the sexes should feel free to self-identify as a feminist. Girl Guides of Canada prides itself in fighting for the empowerment of women worldwide, but then it tiptoes around the word feminism? A little cowardly, if you ask me… we should teach the next generation of girls the true meaning of the word.