Sunday, March 8, 2015

Who's your mama?

As I am writing this, it is still International Women's Day. A lot of people won't know this, won't care or possibly both...if you belong to either of the latter categories, I advise you to stop reading.

I am a feminist, an international dirty word. I have never understood the anti-feminist movement. How can someone proudly and  publicly declare that they are against equality? Sure, most of them say they are against if that were the aim of feminism. The rest question why it is called feminism, when it calls for gender equality. "Why isn't is called humanism?"  you'll hear people ask. And you know why? Because women are still paid less, because one woman a week dies (in Australia alone) due to domestic violence, because in 31 US states, rapists have access to the children they father through rape. Those are just three reasons feminism is called feminism and not humanism - because if women were even close to equality, there wouldn't be such disgust at them asking for it. 

The other day, I went out with a single girlfriend of mine. She was chatting up guys and having a great time - at one point, a guy who was super into her asked his friend to chat me up, so that I'd stop looking like a fish out of water. It was a karaoke bar, like all classy establishments are on weekdays, and girls were belting out Taylor Swift's Shake it off - so naturally he asked me if I was a fan. Ok, not naturally - I was bopping along and singing too... #noregrets. So he asked me if I was a fan and I said "Of course, who doesn't love a girl who is obsessed with cats and comes out as a feminist  after admitting she'd been mislead by what the movement stood for for so long?" 

Cue eyes glazing over.

The answer? People who are allergic to cats.

Why do people get so up in arms about feminism? Do you feel this way about the civil rights movement? About LGBT rights? What is so strange about a woman not wanting to be harassed by drunk men in cars as she walks home alone at night? About her wanting to be paid the same as the men she works with? About her wanting to be able to choose whether she becomes an astronaut, a housewife, an engineer, a nurse, a lawyer, an actress - without a stigma? What's weird about men expecting the same thing? - How many male nurse jokes are made? How many men don't want their wives to be bringing in the bacon, for fear of being emasculated? And how many people really care whether a job is performed by a man or a woman? And seriously: Why do men slow the car down, cat-call or wolf-whistle and run - what was achieved by doing that? 

Enough questions yet?

In the words of the great Ice Cube "you better check yo self before you wreck yo self" ( ).. Ask yourself why you feel this way, ask where your feelings stem from and whether or not you could be wrong. 

I'll leave you to your pondering, and I promise not to get so serious on you next time.

Just remember that International Women's Day is a time to celebrate the achievements of women now and throughout history, achievements that are just as great as those of their male counterparts - so why not be equal in actions as well as words - then maybe we can discuss this humanism name change... 

Hope all is well.