Choose an item to throw in the 100 Women Freedom Trash Can?


December 2, 2018 5:32 pm

What’s stopping women from achieving their full potential?

  • Make-up

    “Men aren’t judged for leaving the house without a full face of make-up.” – Anonymous

    Read more about Make-up

  • Uncomfortable fashion

    “I cannot fathom why people wear heels. They’re painful, impractical and can cause permanent damage to your body.” – Anonymous

    Read more about Uncomfortable fashion

  • Home cooking

    “I’m fed up of the idea of women belonging in the kitchen being normalised.” – Emma

    Read more about Home cooking

  • Domestic chores

    “Equality begins in the family, so get off your backside and get cleaning, guys.” – Anonymous

    Read more about Domestic chores

  • The bra

    “I shouldn’t be forced to look ‘pretty’. I am beautiful and intelligent without it.” – Lisa

    Read more about The bra

  • Celebrity culture

    “All the models have the same body shape, and they look miserable. It’s boring!” – Wendy

    Read more about Celebrity culture

  • Marriage

    “I believe engagement rings are anti-feminist – signifying that the woman with the ring belongs to another person.” – Matilde

    Read more about Marriage

  • Social media

    “It’s very toxic for young people’s mental health, especially girls. They are constantly faced with unrealistic and dangerous ideals.” – Roshan

    Read more about Social media

  • Gendered toys

    “All the gendered children’s toys tell girls and boys they should only like certain things.” – Anna

    Read more about Gendered toys

  • Bonus object

    What are objects of oppression? Discover the thinking behind the Freedom Trash Can and suggest your own object.

    Read more about Bonus object

At a famous protest in the US back in 1968, feminists placed items in a bin that they felt oppressed them.

Fifty years on, we’re doing the same again and asking women around the world about the objects they feel stop them from living their lives the way they want.

Image copyright Getty Images

The demonstration at the Miss America beauty pageant in New Jersey sparked off the iconic – and mythical – image of the “bra-burning feminist”.

A group of women hurled mops, lipsticks and high heels into a Freedom Trash Can.

The idea was to symbolically throw away things that oppressed women, says Robin Morgan, one of the organisers. Passers-by were invited to join in.

“Some feminist historians mark [it] as the real beginning of the current wave of feminism,” says Ms Morgan, who is on this year’s BBC 100 Women list.

“[But] while flattering and quite lovely to hear, [it] is not true. There were already groups like the National Organisation for Women in existence.”

What stuck in the public consciousness about the protest was the image of the “bra-burning feminist” – something that paradoxically never actually happened.

Some women did throw underwear, including bras, into the Freedom Trash Can.

“They never burned them,” says Ms Morgan.

Image copyright Getty Images

The items in the 100 Women Freedom Trash Can come from members of the audience, as well as from some of the people featured on this year’s 100 Women list.

Some of the items, such as the bra, acknowledge the original 1968 protest.

If you are reading this page on the BBC News app, you will need to visit the mobile version of the BBC website to submit your question on this topic.

What is 100 Women?

BBC 100 Women names 100 influential and inspirational women around the world every year and shares their stories.

It’s been a momentous year for women’s rights around the globe, so in 2018 BBC 100 Women will reflect the trailblazing women who are using passion, indignation and anger to spark real change in the world around them.

Find us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and use #100Women

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