When I started writing this blog, I didn’t realise so much of my writing would turn out to have a feminist slant. But the more posts I wrote, the more it became clear what I wanted to write about. And that was women, what it means to be a woman now, and feminism; these posts are also my most popular on the blog, so it would seem I’m not the only one interested in these topics. Feminism and feminist issues are discussed in mainstream culture and media now on a daily basis, but some people still aren’t sure what it means, or why its still important. You might think that you’re not affected by sexism, and you may not be, but millions of women around the world are, and we can’t pull the ladder up after us.
Here are some examples of why we need to keep talking about feminism, in case anyone asks, maybe print off a handy card, do some laminating:
- Recently, Oscar Pistorius was sentenced to only six years for the murder of Reeva Steenkamp, whom he shot several times through a locked bathroom door. I won’t call Reeva his girlfriend, I feel safe in being sure that is not how she would want to be remembered.
- In June we had the Stanford rape case, where the judge seemed to be more concerned about the swimming career of the rapist, than the shattering lifelong impact on the victim.
- A couple of weeks ago Jennifer Aniston had to write an open letter to the entire world telling them her body was none of their business.
- In Ireland, a report issued today states that the prohibitive cost of childcare combined with the large tax burden on middle income earners keeps many professional women out of the workforce.
- In what should have been one of the happiest and proudest moments in her career, Leslie Jones, star of the recent Ghostbusters re-boot, was harassed off Twitter by misogynists who couldn’t handle the fact there were women in a remake of a movie they liked 30 years ago.
Check out #everydaysexism on Twitter if you want a depressing and regular read about why we still need feminism.
Contrary to some (male) opinion (#notallmen) It’s not about hating men, its not about thinking women are better than men. It’s not about thinking that all women are amazing and beyond reproach. It’s about equality and recognising that for a long time women and men have not been equal, that women are starting from way behind the starting line. That’s why its feminism, and not equalism.
“Feminism is the radical notion that women are human beings.”
― Cheris Kramarae
With all this in mind, I’m going to start a new (occasional!) Feminist Friday series on the blog, for quotes, reading, thoughts on feminism and awesome women.
Sometimes, I might be angry: It’s OK for women to be angry.
We have stuff to be angry about. I am angry that I feel judged for every decision I make about my family. I am angry that as women in Ireland we don’t have control of our reproductive rights. I am angry that gender stereotypes will try to squash my daughter and bully my son into conforming to attributes which defy their skills and personalities.
But I am not always angry! Sometimes I am empowered and inspired and optimistic, and it is Friday, after all. If you’re inspired go check out my posts in the Feminism category in my menu, and I’d love your thoughts in the comments!