It’s International Women’s Day today and for me this is the perfect opportunity to talk about the topic of feminism. I feel that over the years the movement has evolved and I think the term can mean different things to different people…so please do not get offended if my views on feminism are different to yours, it’s all about keeping an open mind.
For me, feminism is about being a strong, driven, independent female who values equality amongst men and women. It is not about man-hating. In my opinion, any self respecting man should also class himself as a ‘feminist’ because equality between sexes should be a given, right?! Anyone who says otherwise needs to get their head checked. We live in an age where women should no longer be expected to be a housewife, restrict their clothing, and get married off at the age of 18 to a man they don’t love. Not only this, men should feel comfortable expressing their feelings, taking longer paternity leave and not have to live up to the ‘macho’ stereotype. By all means if you do/don’t want to do any of the things I’ve just said above, I’d respect that too, because it’s all about being given the choice. In 2018, every female and male deserves to be given the choice on how they live their lives, be exposed to the same opportunities and most importantly…should be treated equally.
I think unfortunately, although there are also issues that need to be addressed towards the way men are treated and stereotyped, women have had a much harder and longer battle, just think back to the suffragettes, hence why you get so many strong minded feminists who are keen to keep driving forward the change.
I have been lucky enough to grow up in a household of strong females. My sister is a now a successful journalist at the BBC and my mum has had a successful teaching career and is one of the most intellectual people I have ever met. In addition, my Dad (who gives my mum a run for her money in the intellectual department) has always been extremely supportive of whatever myself, my mum or sister have strived for in life. So, big up to them for being fab and making me who I am today.
Whether it’s due to my upbringing, or myself as an individual I have always strived to do my best. I have always been competitive, I have always been a leader (I mean you know when you’re doing a group task at school and no one else wants to speak up, I mean c’mon?!) and I have always had the goal that I want to be self reliant. I never want to be in a position where if I had kids in the future and the father suddenly jumped shipped and left, I couldn’t provide for them. Plus, I just want more in life. I thrive off of learning new skills, debates, progressing in my career, hell…I even thrive off of academic uni work when I’m not tearing my hair out. The point is, I have always classed myself as a strong female and I want others to be the same. I want other girls and women to feel like they can do anything in life and be treated by others accordingly. I believe we have already come a long way in the race for equality, but ultimately we have a lot more to do, clearly evident from the below facts-
Facts from ‘The Little Book of Feminism’
‘The gender pay gap for people in full-time work in the UK is 10% and in the US it is 21 per cent %’
‘Around 70% of people working minimum-wage jobs are women’
‘Only 17% per cent of board directors of FTSE 100 companies and 4.6% of Fortune 500 companies are women.’
‘Around 85,000 women in the UK and 293,000 women in the US are sexually assaulted each year’ (and thats probably only the amount that are reported)
…and frankly for me all of these facts are simply unacceptable in 2018 and we as a race need to make more progress.
So in 2018, let’s all class ourselves as ‘feminists’. Lets break down the barriers and drive forward change. Lets support and rise each other up to be and do whatever we want in life. Let’s continue to break the gender stereotypes and let’s educate the older generations who may be stuck in their old ways. Most importantly, lets educate the younger generations, who will hopefully grow up in a world that is more equal.
Until next time,
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