I’ve had this rant ruminating in my little head for a while now about feminism, and recently I’ve been inundated with examples of exactly WHY I need to write it.
So, first things first…Yes, absolutely, 100% I am a feminist. I fail to see why any sane woman wouldn’t be. I’m not in the ranks of Germaine Greer or Naomi Wolf, but the older I get, the more passionate I feel about the cause. My children are being raised by a stay-at-home mum and a working dad, not as an example of staid traditional principals, but because feminism has worked to give women the choice of working outside the home or within the home without judgement
I’m raising my children to be feminists – and yes, this definitely does include my 2 sons. I think it’s more important than ever to instil in children the belief that there needs to be equality between the sexes. I don’t want my sons to grow up and think that it is okay to dissemble a woman into a scrap heap of body parts, there for their aesthetic pleasure, fine in doing so because that’s ‘just what guys do’, or because they are ‘with the bros’. I don’t want my children to grow up mindlessly listening to some of the misogynistic music on the radio without at least considering the meaning of the lyrics.
My daughter is told every day that she is beautiful….and also that she is clever and brave and kind and strong. My sons have been raised playing with dolls, wearing tutus and being praised for being kind and gentle boys alongside their games of wrestling, truck racing and super hero role plays.
We’ve campaigned for the right to vote, we’ve burnt the bras and fought to have equal pay (still a work in progress to be fair, but moving slowly in the right direction), we’ve demanded acknowledgement and understanding and respect. I feel we’ve swung so far the other way now – a women who declares herself a feminist has the image of a hairy-armpitted, butch angry woman to contend with, and young women in our society seem to feel that their power lies in being as overtly sexual as their male counterparts (just watch the various “shore” reality shows for examples of them). I argue that a strong, powerful women in our society is one who can calmly and firmly state her beliefs and her opinions and who clearly understands her boundaries and has an expectation of how she should be treated. I’m raising my daughter to be this woman, and my sons to be the men who respect her for it.