Last week women around the globe celebrated International Women’s Day and it was awesome. Everywhere I looked there were affirmations of how great women were and what a fabulous job they’re doing and their general awesomeness overall! It was really uplifting.
However, whilst we were celebrating how far women had come in society, there was also an undertone of ‘but we still have a long way to go…’
This was reinforced for me as I overheard a young girl in a school uniform say this at the tram stop, “Oh no, I’m not a feminist, because I like boys…”
Oh dear Lordy! Are we seriously still pedalling this message that feminism equals man hatred? If that’s the case, then we have much further to go than I’d thought.
Feminism means equality. It means respect. It means supporting and appreciating women. I’m not sure why Feminism has become such a dirty, misunderstood word, when it is simply about fairness. Giving women choices without limitations.
It does not mean the hatred and oppression of men or their rights.
We can all be feminists. Men can absolutely be feminists too. What man doesn’t want equal rights for his mother, wife, sisters and daughters?
There is no ‘face of feminism’. You don’t have to burn your bra or stop shaving your armpits to ‘qualify’ as a feminist.
I am a proud feminist.
I think my women friends do amazing things everyday.
I think the men who support and love my amazing friends are pretty wonderful too.
I want to empower my daughter to make her own independent choices.
I want equal pay for equal work.
I want men in power to stop legislating about women’s reproductive choices.
I want the media to stop giving oxygen to misogynistic voices.
I want women to be safe from harassment and violence.
I want women to be able to access quality education and health care.
Wanting equality is not a ridiculous notion. What is ridiculous is that we still have to fight for it.
So happy International Women’s Day to all the strong, smart and brilliant women that I know and love, and to the billions of others around the world. Let us reclaim feminism together and empower each and every woman to attain the equality that they rightly deserve.