8 Mar 2018

Am I A Feminist?

As today is International Women’s Day and with the theme of #PressForProgress, I thought it was time I put my thoughts on a digital page.

I have spent a few days looking through hashtags, getting lost in the World Wide Interwebs and have been inspired by so many captions and posts, whilst also being equally horrified at some of the comments.

We all know that the internet has created a breed of people who think it is entirely acceptable to say terrible, horrible and hurtful things to people; and all this does is show us how much more work there still is to do.

Over the past few years, I have become increasingly aware of what my privilege has given me.

Over the past months and some InstaStorms I am even more so aware. 

Moreso aware of the vast under-representation of all. 

But do I consider myself a feminist?

Actually, I don't know.

For me, it is about my moral compass

Do I believe we should all be given the same opportunity?
This can be for any area of life you so wish. If someone has a passion/ talent/ experience for something; then let them have a go. Believe it or not, we have equality laws in the UK to protect us, but time and time again we see/ hear stories of people being denied opportunities based on their gender (and of course there are many other reasons people can be discriminated against, but for today let’s just focus on womanhood)

Do I feel that all women are represented when we talk about inequality/ representation and diversity?
Something that I have become increasingly aware of is that whilst we continue to stand tall and fight for our (and our children's) futures, not every woman is represented. I’ve spoken about my feelings on this before and I am striving to ensure that when we talk about progressing and moving forward, this includes ALL women (not just the perfect faces we see on the TV and the beautiful Instagram Feeds)

Am I active in changing opinions?
It all starts at home right? When my son was still at nursery I already saw the preconceptions slipping in. ‘that’s for girls’ the Small would say, ‘but I’m a boy’. It is so hard when you see people who hold influence with your children not being so active in helping them to understand why we shouldn’t say such things. 

We talk about how anyone can do whatever they like. I am trying my best to talk about ‘they’ rather than ‘he’ or ‘she’. It’s tough, but every day he understands a little more. And every day the language that I use is getting better.

I speak up more now. As recently as last weekend I was taking part in a scavenger hunt; when I was reading the map a teammate came over and said ‘let me take that off you’ when I asked them why he said (i kid you not) ‘well, I can read it better’.
‘i’m sorry are my boobs getting in the way of the directions?’
Now before you jump to conclusions and say maybe I was overreacting, this was the 4th time in an hour he had made a comment about the women of the group. 
Interestingly enough when I was chatting with someone about the comments later in the day their response was ‘well it’s just the way that men behave isn’t it?’

Arrghhhhhhhhhhh (was my internal response!)

I am a woman, mother, daughter, sister and all round good human and I guess if I want to see change then yes. Yes, I am a feminist.

And no. That doesn’t mean that all men are terrible humans.

It truly feels like a tide is turning as people are standing up and saying Enough. Let’s hope this change continues and we will begin to see the effect this has on our children.

I want to live in a kinder and fairer world.

Do you?

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