Sometimes I wish I wasn’t a Feminist
There are some days where I wish I wasn’t a feminist. There, I said it.
Wow – I feel like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders.
It’s something I’ve wanted to say for a while now, but I just couldn’t find the words. I take a lot of pride in being a feminist. But it can be so exhausting sometimes.
Nothing is the same
I see and hear sexism wherever I go. Whatever I read. Whatever I watch on TV. It’s everywhere.
I can’t enjoy what were once my favourite TV programs anymore without seeing something that makes me cringe. Family Guy (always controversial and pushing boundaries anyway) and even The Big Bang Theory I only watch when there is nothing else on.
Stand up comedians, especially Mickey Flanagan, I just don’t find funny any more.
Films I enjoyed as a kid (see my take on Disney’s The Jungle Book 1967) I’m now desperate to keep away from Ragamuffin.
Office banter, Facebook comments, twitter threads – I could go on. Once you start noticing it you see it everywhere and you just can’t turn it off.
I was part of the problem
The worst part of being a feminist is realising how anti-feminist I used to be. I used to be part of the problem I’m now actively fighting against.
I was the one telling guys to man up, to stop being such girls. It was me who thought that sexism wasn’t a thing. That women were already equal to men, that the gender pay gap didn’t exist.
I couldn’t have been more wrong.
Did I help the war now being waged against women’s rights?
Did I and millions of other women of privilege, with our ‘well it’s not a problem for me, so there can’t be a problem’ attitude let the likes of Trump and the DUP manoeuvre into positions of power? I think the answer is yes.
I want to take this chance to say sorry.
For every time I called someone a girl as an insult. I’m sorry.
For every time I dismissed the gender pay gap. I’m sorry.
For all those times I questioned the point of International Women’s Day, and every other time I said or did something anti-feminist. I’m sorry.
No matter how many times I say it it won’t be enough, which is partly why this blog is here. I’m trying to rally more people to the cause. People who are in the best position to influence the next generation. Mothers.
The minute you start talking about women’s rights it’s like you’ve put a target on your back. People listen to your every word hoping to catch you out. You can feel them willing you to say something anti-feminist.
Even worse are those people who talk to you like they’re walking on eggshells, worried that they might say something that you’ll take offence to.
Just because I’m open about being a feminist doesn’t mean I’m going to judge and correct everything you say. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll question any opinion I don’t agree with but I’ll do it respectfully and always try to start a discussion rather than brand someone else’s view as wrong.
Then there are the people who don’t understand the true meaning of feminism. The ones that think feminists are short-haired, pink-hating, man-despising lesbians.
Recently Ragamuffin has started watching the My Little Ponies TV show. To anyone who hasn’t seen it, or even people who have seen it but not understood the message, they might think that it’s the opposite of what feminism stands for. I totally disagree. Does it centre around a group of cutesie ponies/unicorns/Pegasus ponies? Yes. But when you sit and watch it you soon see that actually it’s about the true meaning of friendship. It shows there are rough patches in any friendships, but ultimately if you stick together true friendship will out.
Moral of the Story
Nothing worth doing in life ever comes easy, being a feminist is one of many things that proves it. It might be hard work being a feminist at times but it’s nothing compared to the discrimination millions of girls and women (biologically born female and those who identify as women) across the world face every day.
I’m in such a privileged position to be able to sit here and write this freely. The fact that I can say pretty much anything let alone complain how hard it can be to be a feminist sometimes, speaks volumes.
This is why Raising a Ragamuffin is here. I will help you find the tools and advice that you need to raise fierce and fearless girls. I’m here to help you raise a generation of girls who will not just shatter the glass ceiling, but who will destroy it.
What are the worst parts of being a feminist for you? Do you think I’ve gone a bit OTT? Leave me a comment and let me know what you think.
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