“We don’t need to be feminist in my generation.” They’re the words of Carla Bruni – the wife of former French president Nicolas Sarkosy. In an interview with Vogue this month, she described herself as “not at all an active feminist.” 

“There are pioneers who paved the way for us. I am not a feminist activist at all. On the contrary I am a true bourgeoise. I love family life and doing the same thing every day,” Bruni said.

It’s an interesting sentiment  – cough – coming from a woman whose fame and fortune has been derived from the way she looks and the man she married. This is said without rancour. It’s simply an observation.

So no need for feminism, Carla? Respectfully, we disagree. And apparently so do many of the women in France who took to social media expressing their need for feminism with the hashtag #ChereCarlaBruni (Dear Carla Bruni).

And THIS is why:

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(To see more of this gallery visit the Who Needs Feminism Tumblr)

Mamamia’s Managing Editor Jamila Rizvi wrote earlier this year about why she needs feminism in response to another high profile woman declaring herself a non-feminist. She wrote:

Jamila Rizvi, feminist.

Women still earn around 80 cents for every dollar that men earn over a lifetime. And this isn’t just about who has the bits that make the babies.  Australian women earn less from the very first year after they graduate from university and TAFE.

Women still carry the burden of around two thirds of unpaid work and caring duties.

Women are almost 51 per cent of the population and yet we hold less than 30 per cent of elected positions in the federal Parliament. We hold 8 per cent of board directorships and 10 per cent of executive management positions.

Nearly one in five of us will experience sexual assault, one in three will experience some kind of family or domestic violence in our lifetimes.

We earn less, we are heard less and we are hurt more.

And all of this pales in comparison, to the women around the world who still do not share the basic rights, safety, freedoms and equalities that here in Australia we all take for granted.

Nicolas and Carla

To every woman still reading my rant, I say this: Yes, you are a feminist. All that little word means is that you believe in women’s equality with men. It’s not scary, it’s simple.

So let’s stop wasting our time ‘reclaiming’ words like c*#t and start reclaiming a word that really matters.

And let’s start doing that today.

Feminism is ours. It is an ideal, a thought, a vision that was designed by our mothers and our grandmothers and our great grandmothers, but it is still relevant today. It isn’t something we should take for granted and it isn’t something we should forget.

Let’s not let feminism become a dirty word on our watch.

Let’s give our daughters and grand daughters something to be proud of too.

So over to you…. Why do you need feminism?

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