I don’t need to tell readers of my blog that I have strong views about certain things. And whilst I am fairly forthright in my opinions on subjects I am passionate about, I also fully embrace the opinions of others, regardless of whether they’re the same or the complete opposite of my own.
Feminism is one such subject. Something I think has sadly earned itself the tag of being rather a dirty word to a lot of people, not least of all myself. I’ve been criticised in the past for my (*entitled*) opinions – that sometimes I think feminists can be aggressive and tunnel visioned.
Now make no mistake, I’m a women, I like women, however I have an equal amount of respect for men too. Put simply, I would label myself as pro-equality rather than a feminist – and I’m certainly not interested in spending my time moaning about how, as a woman, I’m so hard done by.
Do I think campaigns like the everyday sexism project help towards equality and the sexes working together? No, I don’t.
‘My dad reprimanded me for not sending my cousin a birthday card-but my brother got of scot free’
‘I love sports and have played football since I was a little kid, but am never included in conversations about the weekend’s games’
‘I was once asked if I gave head by a boy at a bus stop’
‘When I was 14, I was asked but a male acquaintance why I didn’t wear make-up.’
The gripes are continuous and varied, but you get the picture. I’m not trying to undermine peoples genuinely negative experiences but really?? Is there nothing a man can say these days without being labelled misogynistic and aggressive.
You’re never included in conversations about sport? Well, pipe up and get involved! Your dad wanted you to send a card – so what, he’s teaching you manners, and you were asked by a boy about your blow job techniques? Tell him to piss off and go back to the wank mags under his bed.
Because the simple fact about life, whether you like it or not is that, it’s not words that work (online to a forum of other angst-ridden women) it’s action – and this spreads further than the bus stop. If I had a pound for every woman that complained about the lack of women in politics or the gender inequality in work environments such as engineering and science – the same thing applies, if you don’t like it, go out there and get involved, become an MP, an engineer or a site manager! Nobody is stopping you.
Posting online about ‘everyday sexism’ (and yes I repeat, in preparation for the onslaught that I recognise that there are serious cases of sexism that occur daily) isn’t going to help equality it’s going to make women look like silly little girls who run to the teacher because someone pulled their pig tails.
You want equality? Encouraging women to have an opinion, to stand up for themselves directly and to answer back when they disagree with something, would be a good start.
Opps sorry I forgot, that’s just what I did with the everyday sexism project and what did I get? An adult debate about a very valid and current issue? Acknowledgement for having an opinion regardless of it not being the same as theirs? Or recognition that I was a women who was willing to voice her thoughts despite them not being necessarily popular?
Blocked by a feminist group for being a woman with an opinion – you couldn’t make it up.
No wonder people go running scared the minute they hear the word feminism – their way or the highway – it looks like sisterhood has a way to go yet.