De zachte feministische encyclopedie
(The soft feminist encyclopedia)
Feminists are unkempt, angry women with armpit hair. They hate men, want to be superior to all men, and wear overalls. That is the stereotype that many people have about feminists. Nothing could be further from the truth; feminists, in a way, deal with an image problem.
We are currently in the fourth wave of feminism, a movement that fights against various forms of inequality: sexism, racism, ableism, and much more. Feminism is still very much needed today. Protests at abortion clinics are one expression of this, and recently thousands of people participated in a protest march against abortion. There is a gender pay gap of 15%, and only 60% of women are financially independent, compared to 79% of men.
Globally, there is a conservative trend in politics that does not promote equality among people. The fact that there are now protests against the right to abortion is a sign of regression. If we do nothing, we will go back in time.
The current image of the angry man-hating feminist needs to be revised. It should be replaced with a realistic and inclusive image, one where feminists advocate for various forms of inequality. Feminists are no longer just fighting for equal rights for women but for equal rights for everyone. As a graphic designer, I can contribute to this by processing data in an accessible way and encouraging people to think about contemporary feminism.
During the research phase of this book, I conducted extensive literature research (hard data) and engaged with my subject as an embedded researcher. I joined feminist organizations, immersed myself in feminist platforms, and participated in (online) protests. I also collected data through Instagram surveys and designed visual surveys for people to fill out to test their knowledge of feminism (soft data). The outcomes of my surveys became the guiding thread in this book, from which the book derives its name.
The final book has become an encyclopedia where various themes are discussed for each letter: from street signs to driving and from child marriages to catcalling.