Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Feminism or fad?

I do not identify myself as a feminist. i have feminist ideals but I would not call myself a feminist, especially not an activist. I believe in equal opportunity for the gender but I guess that belief is limited.
Not in the sense of sex, pay, job opportunity, education ect. but sometimes I like my husband to hold the door open for me. Sometimes I like to be treated like a princess. But you know what, sometimes I hold the door open for him. James and I are both equal members of this marriage.
But he still proposed?
But then I made the first move.
I'd say over all we're equals. But I still like to be treated like a lady, and he still likes to be the provider. The he-man!
That's the thing with feminism. It's equality. Complete equality. Some demand it but then expect more. They expect to be treated equal sometimes, but remember its ladies first. That's not equality. I'm sorry, but it's not.
My husband is the bread winner. I am the stay at home mum. This was always 'the plan'. This year I will be a qualified Journalist and PR practitioner. I hope to get a well paid job with this degree. I hope to support my family so James can follow his dreams of becoming a computer games tester or astronaught- he's undecided.

Yesterday, our first female prime minister made a wonderful speech. It's the first time I have admired her. It's the first time she has given me something to be proud of. It was the first time I stopped worrying about the future of our country and thought maybe she can change things.

The reality is, she can't. Even though laws are in place to enforce equality it is not so.
In Australia only 8.4% of board of director positions are filled by women.
In day to day life my girlfriends constantly complain, "he hasn't called", "why won't he ask me out?" Why don't you call him, I'd respond. "It's his job, obviously!" Obviously
It's a man world. I took James' name. I thought about not taking it for .5 of a second but my son was always getting his name and I wanted the same name too.
It is so set in our culture to do things a certain way. To follow certain traditions, misogynistic traditions. I don't know that anyone is necessarily at fault for this, but I think that in some way we are all at fault.
I remember in a breast feeding session after giving birth to Oliver the midwife told me, "breasts are not toys for men, they are a source if life for your children. My son knows exactly what's breasts are for." I snickered at the thought. But isn't that wonderful that this women had taught her son the wonders of breasts, not in a sexual way but in their most natural form. He will grow up respecting breasts, and go on to respect women.
I suppose in many ways men and women are different. But in the same way that women and women are different. Or the way that two men are different. Everyone is different in so many way, so why does one different chromosome change your position in life? Is it that chromosome, is it the fact that women are the birth givers or is it society.
In 2012 I believe it comes down to society. I believe it comes down to women being sexualised by both men and themselves. I believe it comes down to a lack of respect between some men and women. And I believe it comes down to a lack of awareness of equality and women as people, and not gender.
The proof of this are the fashion spreads of Julia Gillard and what she wore. Had she worn a nicer jacket would she would have kept her promise on the carbon tax? No. Why does it matter what she wears, I am much more concerned with what she is doing. The same goes for our female sportswoman, or any female personality. I mean the brown low medal is 80% about what 'she' wore. What a joke? Sure it's fun to get dressed up but really? I mean really?

As I said I am not a feminist. I am a women and I am proud. I do not let my gender define me, but deep down I know it always will.
I hope that Julia Gillard gets women talking, I hope she has lit a flame that insights action against a male dominated society. I hope people become more aware of the constant inequalities in our day to day life and decide to change. I hope this but an concerned that once the media attention dies down, that the fad will die with it. I hope this doesn't happened. I hope our generation has been raised to respect the equality of gender and pass that on to our children. I know I will. Maybe one day our traditions will fade away and men and women will truly exist as equals. But it's not up to Julia, it's up to us.

in the coming days I will add some links to women who have inspired me throughout my life and have been fighting the cause of feminism for many many years.

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