Lets start by saying I for one do not believe in ‘labels’. Being labeled a ‘blonde’, a ‘mum’ or a (hiss) ‘stay at home mum’ the list is endless. Labels are left open to so many ridiculous connotations. I suffered quite severely at the hands of bullies during my schooling days. During these dark times, countless people told me that it was because I was ‘different’ or ‘pretty’ (I struggle even writing that now Cringe! Pretty?) & I just couldn’t fathom this. I saw no difference between my contemporaries & me. I didn’t see people as a label even back then. As it so happened, years later & by chance I crossed paths with one of these said ‘bullies’, & the first words uttered from his mouth materialised into a full-blown apology for his behaviour way back when. Turns out all those wise voices were right, he ‘fancied’ me. Go figure. I’m not after any sympathy votes, if it wasn’t for these vile individuals & their actions towards me then, I wouldn’t have turned into the character I am today: Strong in my own conviction I feel no pressure to conform to any label. I am ME. I can be a rule unto my own. Yes, this is often viewed as being a pain ‘in ones derrière ’ (oh well) but applauded by many others. Frankly, I am happy being myself & that’s what counts.
Feminism isn’t a label; its very definition is a collection of movements and ideals, aimed at defining, establishing & defending equality & rights for women. It can be a way of life for some. Yet, if you’re a woman who freely admits to being a ‘feminist’, well you’re a brave soul! Feminists & the feminism movement tend to get such a bad reputation in the press. Admittedly certain celebrities’ individuals, who splash themselves around in the national media, suffocation us with their somewhat skewed opinions, make the situation that much worse. I’m not asking for a fight, as all feminism is personal. It’s the experiences & opportunities we encounter. I am confident in my opinions and I’m strong enough in my ‘sense of self’, that I don’t feel the need to shout from the rafters my beliefs. If however, that’s your style then good on you. & If you wish to pin a label upon me, I am ok with this. After all it’s of no significance to me, just a bunch of letters meaning sweet FA nothing. If asked, even I couldn’t accurately define myself, partly because I don’t want to be ‘defined’ but also because depending on what time of the day you ask me, I could be a multitude of sociological labels! I believe I am a feminist. We are all born equals. Society, & the pressures involved to ‘conform’ & to fit a ‘label’ far too easily take this essence away. Fundamentally, I support the rights and equality of women, in my own unique way. An example like ‘taking your husbands’ surname in marriage, to me, in no way undervalues your ‘feminism’ beliefs. Yes, you part ways with an element of your ‘identity’ that you’ve grown used to & proud of over the years, but a mere name should not define your ideals (it doesn’t define you). Again, it’s all personal choice. The fact that some couples flip the conventional name lark on it’s head & adopt the wife’s’ surname, shows to some extent the acceptance & understanding that exists within society.
I praise all those women who have the gumption to stand up against society for the right reasons in the face of adversity, with the determination to succeed in achieving true equality: Malala Yousafzai, the young girl from Pakistan, Is such an absolute inspiration & example of feminism in its purest form for the present time. http://www.flickr.com/photos/114665175@N07/12824650005/ In this day & age it can be taken far too much for granted though, how far equality has come, yet it still has so much more to achieve. We should recognise strong women like Germaine Greer leading the pack back in the seventies. Regardless if you agree with her opinions or not, (I respect her work, but shrug off a fair amount of her opinions too). There’s no doubt she made some massive waves in the feminism movement. So there we have it. I’m a feminist. Minus the ‘moon cup’ endorsing -why would you, why? Actually, don’t answer that! (If you’re asking ‘what is a moon cup’, that my dear is what Google was invented for) & not a hairy armpit in sight!
I’m not an activist; I don’t look for controversy. I’m not a political person, but I’m a person with compassion. I care passionately about equal rights. I care about human rights’ – Ellen Degeneres
More than anything, I want to raise my son to be proud of his mummy, & have the upmost respect for women: for him to hold the belief that anything is possible in life if you’re willing to put in the hard graft. & If nothing else, I truly think women of the ‘feminism’ moment demonstrate this to the highest level.