Okay time to put my hands on my heart and fess up. I’m feeling a complete twazzock now for writing Dear Feminism1, Dear Feminism2, Feminism Lite I’ve come so far in my feminist thinking that I can’t imagine ever not thinking it is important to be a feminist. In my defence though human rights have always been massively important to me, with women’s rights an important part of that but I never really specifically focused much of my attention or energy on them, having other battles to fight, but then I realised part of my other battles would be so much more sucessful if included feminism in my armoury which will probably only make sense if you know me personally so I will leave that bit there for now.
There is often talk in feminism about a lightbulb moment, and whilst my light has been flickering for a while now its only recently that it got properly switched on and is burning bright. I’m not sure why it took me so long, maybe it’s because as a white middle class well educated cis-female who has not really experienced a glass ceiling to her career, and being 30 I grew up as part of the generation that thought that the woman’s liberation battle had been fought and won, and therefore wasn’t as important? I know now I was naive, even as a teenager and in my early twenties when I experienced sexual violence and I brushed it off as just “something that happened to girls”, one boyfriend even strangled 14year old me until I told him I loved him. How did I not know this was wrong, why did I not shout and scream about how wrong it was?!
But yes the lightbulb is well and truly switched on now and I am angry, no I am RAGING that my daughters are growing up to be disadvantaged in jobs, by the maternity policies which need to be so much better,to have constantly have to fight to not be taken less seriously because of their gender, To suffer self esteem/body image issues because of the continual objectification of women. To be likely experience sexual violence at some point in their lifetime. I’m furious that there are renewed attempts to reduce my daughters rights to abortion if they need one, that their friends may experience female genital mutilation and this country is seen as not doing anything about it, that if they experience sexual violence it is unlikely that the perpetrator will be bought to justice and some people will think it was their fault for getting assaulted, for being drunk or dressed provocatively.
So fuck the badge and the jute bag I wanted in Feminism1- pass me a placard a balaclava and the chains and padlocks. This woman is getting angry strident and serious about her feminism.
For my daughters. For me. For Females.
Bring it on.
P.S and I’m really sorry it took me this long to really and truly properly get it. Will be ensuring I bring my girls (and any future boys) up to understand how important feminism is, so they reach this page before 30!