So. Tomorrow morning I’m going to be on TV! Gah! Excuse me whilst I have a little nervous vom in my mouth.
I’ve been asked to join a panel on the Morning Show on Channel 9 to discuss an article that Lucy Chesterton wrote on Mamamia last week about Feminism (I have tried and tried to get the link to work but it just refuses to co operate sorry). The gist of the story was that she feels like she is letting down the “sisterhood” or “feminist movement” by loving “traditional” female duties like cooking or making a tea for her husband. There was quite a bit of feedback about this – that it was ridiculous to compare these choices to the feminist plight and so they are putting together a panel to discuss it. Jane Caro, Gretel Killeen and yours truly.
I’m nervous and excited all at once. What does feminism mean to me? Am I a feminist? Isn’t anyone with a vagina? I know I am. I strongly believe in equality for men and women. For both sexes. For gender equality – sexuality equality – anything equality. I do not understand why a woman would be paid less for the same job as a man. I do not understand why women are in positions of less power, or are taken less seriously because they are women. I know just how far females have come for their fight for equality and just how far we still have to go.
I think that there is a generation of young women out there who are confused by feminism. What does it mean? Can you still do x, y and z and be a feminist? Can I stay home and raise my children and not go back to work and be a feminist? Can I sew? Or get my hair done? The role that media and advertising play in their portrayal of women can be confusing. Tune into any film clip and you will see women gyrating in next to nothing, hear men talk about their ‘bitches’. I refuse to let my 5 year old daughter sing along to “I’m sexy and I know it.” We have role models like Kim Kardashian to look up to. Is it any wonder they are confused? Did you see that Godforsaken show “The Shire” last night? 5 minutes of that took back female equality 500 odd years – young women more interested in looking “good” and by “good” I mean primped and pumped and spray tanned and fake haired – it was completely depressing. And horrifying. And worse still, entertaining. Is that really what young women out there are thinking? Why show that and perpetuate those myths again? I guess it makes good TV.
I don’t know where I fit into the argument/discussion or how it’s going to go. I can only continue to educate my own girls about what being a woman is. It’s about being fortunate now to have choices available to us. It’s about being informed, being aware, and being true to themselves. It’s about having the ability to do one of the most incredible things we can do as humans – give birth to our own children. It’s knowing that if they want to, and work hard, they can do just about anything they want to do. They can lead our country, they can treat the sick, they can be bankers and make lots of money, or they can stay home and raise a family. I’ve done both and am now in a very fortunate position now to be home with my children. We jumped off the working/city treadmill that made me exhausted, angry and empty. Whilst it’s not glamorous, at times not very challenging for my mind, and VERY bad pay, I am home, cooking their meals, washing their clothes and being there, physically there, each and every day. For my girls, and for my husband. And I love it. I’m the happiest I have been in like, ever. If blogging about making a good bed, or how to hang a load of washing along the way and having a laugh about the silly, mundane parts of my day helps me get through it, then I’ll keep doing it. I’m lucky to have my little outlet, my space to share with others. I’ve said it before – it’s no different to what women have been doing for thousands of years: sharing, talking, bitching about their partners and exhaustion and what they have to cook for dinner - just in a different medium.
I’d love to hear what you think about this stuff. What does being a feminist mean to you? What hope do those girls in the Shire hold for a current generation out there? Does darning your husband’s socks mean you aren’t a feminist? Maybe my lack of desire for blow jobs makes me a feminist? Could that be the answer? Oh, and make sure you watch. I’ll be the one with the deer in the head lights expression with the bad roots – 10am tomorrow morning Channel 9. SHIT.