Feminism, these days, can be a scary word. Some people think of feminists as man hating, moaning, complaining women who don’t shave their legs, don’t wear a bra and just aren’t very pleasant. Well, that is so not the case, or not for 99% of us anyway. Yes, I’m a feminist, and I thought I’d talk a little bit about my feminism, what being a feminist means to me.
I’m a thirty one year old woman. I’m single, and I own and run three businesses by myself. I drive, I travel-sometimes alone-and I dress how I like. I vote in every local and general election. Years ago, I couldn’t have done most of this. In some countries, I still can’t, because I’m a woman.
My feminism is being so bloody proud of the women who fought so hard for me to be able to vote today. It’s knowing how pleased I am that when I buy a house, I won’t need to rely on a man. It’s looking at my car, and my camera, my laptop and my travel, and realising I paid for them myself, because of my job. It’s for making sure I take my turn to get a round in when I’m out with a man, and appreciating him offering to pay for his round too. It’s believing in a woman’s right to choose what she wants to do about contraception, and whether to keep her baby or not if she gets pregnant, and it’s being disgusted that women in Ireland don’t have that right.
My feminism is seeing my friend who runs her house and looks after her children the majority of her time, working the odd shift when she can, and fully supporting her choice to do this. It’s looking at my other friend, who works full time and sends her daughter to nursery, and fully supporting her choice to do that. It’s knowing that it’s up to every woman (and, if involved, her partner) to decide what works best for them, and do it. It’s believing that a woman can feed her baby however she damn well wants as long as it’s fed, and that remaining child free is as valid a choice as having three. It’s not knowing whether I’d keep my name if I got married, and being certain that I’m not a possession to be ‘given away’ to my new husband.
My feminism believes women should be paid the same as a man doing the same job. My feminism knows that, with some exceptions, most men are stronger physically than most women just like they are taller, and both of those things are fine-they don’t make men better or women weak. It’s being firm that your dress size doesn’t define you, what you wear doesn’t define you, and you can wear makeup or not, shave or not, and that should be a personal choice.
Most importantly, my feminism knows that men have problems too. It knows that women fighting for equality doesn’t mean we are saying men have everything great. I believe a father should be a stay at home dad if he wants to. I know that men are the biggest threat to themselves in terms of suicide. I know that boys should be able to have a doll, a toy kitchen, and wear pink. I don’t hate men.
I’ve written this post because I’m tired of the misconceptions of feminism that are all over the place at the moment. This doesn’t list everything I think and believe because we’d be here all day, but hopefully it does show that, hey-feminism isn’t a dirty word. Hell, men can be feminists too.
Would you say you’re a feminist?