A belated Happy International Women’s Day!
I am so very lucky to have more than my fair share of strong, intelligent, brave women in my life. My mother, sisters, friends… I am reminded frequently of just how much I rely on this sisterhood and how much I am inspired by them.
However, as it is wont to do, the day (and a few overheard ignorant comments) got me thinking about a few things, namely Why We Don’t Need Feminism.
I’ve thought long and hard about this, and here, in abridged glory, are a few of them:
- Feminism isn’t necessary, because last week when I pounding away at the treadmill, I was able to watch crappy gym TV for over 20 minutes without seeing a fully clothed woman.
- Feminism isn’t necessary because feminists don’t have a clue! They are braless, unshaven, man-hating, privileged little girls who go around using words like misogynist and equality and are completely ignorant of larger world issues. Things like the Delhi Rape. Oh, wait…
- Feminism isn’t necessary because women are equal now! We can vote, we can work, we can even serve in religious circles! Sometimes. Just don’t go eyeing the pulpit or priesthood. Gotta keep those ambitions in check, sister. Because god said so.
- Feminism isn’t necessary because I can do anything a man can do. I can get an education, a job, a house, car… I can go out to a bar with friends and take a cab home without checking to make sure the doors are unlocked, keeping my phone in my hand and making direct eye contact with the driver so he knows I’m sober enough to know what’s going on.
Except I feel compelled to do all of those things every single time I set foot into a cab. And of course I’ll call my friends when I get home.
- Feminism isn’t necessary because in the conservative community I grew up in, I knew more than one woman who wasn’t allowed to go to college while her brothers were. Maybe her Dad knew better? Maybe god had bigger plans– like living at home until she got married and could finally leave home, to move into her husband’s house.
- Feminism isn’t necessary because women are equal, geez. Enough with the whining! Just give us a few years to clear up a few loose ends. Like equal pay.
- Feminism IS necessary (can’t do the sarcasm anymore, and that’s sincere), because even in 2015, in any country in the world, a woman can earn far, far more by using her body than she can with her brain.
- Feminism is necessary because from the time she is an infant, a little girl will be called beautiful or gorgeous before anything else. She may be called smart, intelligent, ambitious or kind, but these words will always be secondary to her appearance.
- Feminism is necessary because sometimes I just don’t feel like smiling, yet the broader conception of this whole grinning thing seems to be that if you are of the female persuasion, you wake up beaming and stay that way until you go to sleep.
- Feminism is necessary because chilling statements like this are still uttered, and were last week:
“A decent girl won’t roam around at nine o’clock at night. A girl is far more responsible for rape than a boy… Housework and housekeeping is for girls, not roaming in discos and bars at night doing wrong things, wearing wrong clothes.”
So happy International Women’s Day, folks. We’ve come a long way but we’ve got a long way to go.
* Feminism is not about hating men.
** Feminism is about the equality of men and women.
*** I identify as a feminist but I do not hate men.
**** The fact that I’m even writing these ridiculous little statements is a problem in of itself.