Tuesday 27 May 2014

Am I a feminist?

"Are you a feminist?!"- a question I have been asked a few times, the tone if often accusing, as though I ought to be embarrassed, almost daring me to deny it. For years I have felt uncomfortable admitting that yes, I am a feminist, because there is a stigma surrounding it which to be honest is a bit off putting. But you know what, if feminism means equality between men and women, then damn right I support it. I don't want to be considered more important than a man, I just want to be valued as an equal to them, is there really anything wrong it that?

What annoys me most is that some men (the emphasis being on some and not all) believe that they are above women simply because of their gender. It annoys me just as much that some women are willing to fall into the role cut out for them by society because that is what they have been brought up to believe is their role in life. I like to think that a woman should be able to choose to become a wife and mother, just as she should be able to choose to value a career over family, the emphasis being on choice. Feminism isn't about what women wear or how much makeup they use, or whether they are stay at home mums or driven career women- feminism is about the ability to choose what you want from your life, and not have other people telling you that you can't, because you are a woman. Feminism is about being able to do what ever a man does and not have people tell you that 'you are such a man'. Feminism is about expecting your partner to do just as much of the childcare, cooking and cleaning because ones ability to clean, cook or care should have nothing to do with gender.

I like to think that if I was going for a job against a man with the same qualification and experience that we would have an equal chance of getting the job, if he was to then get the job I would like to be confident in the knowledge that he got it because he was a better candidate and not simple because he was a man. Sadly, this country still has a long way to go before women can claim they are completely equal, but it is even worse that in regard to female rights, the UK is actually very advanced and it angers me that I live in a society where victims are blamed for rape but I am expected to be grateful because at least I have rights. Yes, I probably should be thankful that the UK is advanced but that doesn't mean that women should have to settle for less than equality. The other day I saw a post on a social media site from a girl of around 20 claiming that all these 'feminists' needed to calm down because they had gained equality and now they were just seeking attention. It upsets me that some women have settled for something that I honesty don't believe is equality and for me, that is why we need feminism.

I would like to say thank you to all the women and men out there who are fighting for equality- whether you call yourself a feminist or not, it's nice to know that some people are fighting for a world of equals.


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