Last weekend thousands of women marched in order to protest against the injustices we face every day. I am intensely proud of all of the women who went out to speak up for what is right. Part of me wishes that I could have been there, however recently I have been particularly struggling in big crowds so it was best for me to stay away. I hear lots of garbage about feminism from people who don't really understand it. "But surely if it's about equality why do you stand up for just women's rights?" and "I'm not a feminist because I shave my armpits." are two phrases I've heard many times when asked about my views on this subject. For me feminism is all about equality of opportunity. I want every single person to be able to choose how they live their lives. Whether that's a man who wants to stay home with the kids or a woman who wants to go out to work. The same goes for the other way around. It really irks me when people assume that because I'd like to be there with my children for the first years of their lives that it isn't my choice or that I'm closed minded. It just happens to be something that is important to me.
It still shocks me that people are unaware of the issues women face every single day. I am by no means an expert but I do experience inequality in my life. I would be surprised if any man had every experience the crippling fear you feel when someone leers at you on the street or when someone makes an obscene comment because you happen to be wearing a short skirt. It scares me that women still have to demonstrate like they did this weekend that we do have a voice but it also encourages me that there are hundreds of thousands of women who are able to stand up for their beliefs. Could this have happened 60 years ago? I doubt it.
My aim with this post is not to alienate anyone, if I have done that then I am sorry. However, this subject is so important to me I just had to set it down in words. I'm a feminist. A strident feminist. One who wants to be paid the same as her male counterparts. One who wants someone to open the door for me because I'm a human being not because of my gender. One who enjoys wearing makeup because I enjoy it. One who has always read books aimed at young boys because they were always more exciting. All in all, I just want to live in a world where it isn't your gender that matters it's the quality of your contribution to society that counts.