This week I found three particularly inspiring pieces of writing that reminded me why I am someone who’s tagged with the oft-derided ‘F’ word – a feminist.

We live in a world where women’s equality with men is almost non-existent. There is rape, victim-blaming, pay gaps and gender-influenced expectations – all of which go hand in hand with having two X chromosomes.

Despite all of this, I love being a woman and love that we live in a world in flux, where the standards of how we treat other human beings are constantly being raised to higher levels. Slavery is not OK. Racism is not OK. Blaming a rape victim for being raped is not OK. Getting paid less than a man for the same work is not OK. And as a feminist, I am one of those women standing up and saying ‘THIS IS NOT OK.’

Sadly, feminists are often viewed as uptight people who can’t take a joke, are angry and self-righteous… the list of negative stereotypes, aided by TV shows and movies showing them in this light, goes on.

So when I found these three pieces, I was happy once again to be a feminist.

For your reading pleasure:

Beyonce: being photographed in your underwear doesn’t help feminism (Hadley Freeman, The Guardian)

[Beyonce Knowles says:] ‘Equality is a myth, and for some reason everyone accepts that women don’t make as much money as men do,’ she rails. ‘I truly believe that women should be financially independent from their men. And let’s face it, money gives men the power to run the show. It gives men the power to define value. They define what’s sexy. And men define what’s feminine. It’s ridiculous.’

Why are you so intimidated by girls liking rap music? (Meaghan Garvey, Noisey.vice.com)

‘The responses I received from dudes who considered my indignation towards this list an “overreaction” – “It’s not that sexist!” or, “But it was intended as a joke, relax!” – are, frankly, typical and expected, as many men don’t know how to handle being called out on their bullshit. And just as white people do not get to decide what minorities consider to be racist, straight men do not have the privilege of telling women what should and should not offend them. Because they don’t get it, and I understand that. But they should try to, and next time, they should do better, because it will make them more aware and decent human beings.’

Is a Disney-free daughter really a more empowered one? (Hugo Schwyzer)

‘As Peggy Orenstein and others have pointed out, the sexualization of tween and teen girls is a natural extension of the princess aesthetic. “Princesses mark girls’ first foray into mainstream culture,” she writes, a world in which the highest value lies in being “the fairest of them all”. By the time puberty arrives however, being “the fairest of them all” in the eyes of one’s peers calls for a much shorter skirt.’