Feminism is big news again. They’re running articles on it in magazines, Cosmopolitan, Company and Grazia to name only a few have run articles on it in the last few issues. Caitlin Moran has had a best-selling book on ‘How to be a woman’ and the government are discussing how to get more women into top jobs. Why though, are we still so nervous to say the ‘F Word’? Indeed Cosmopolitan Magazine ran a campaign trying to get us to say the ‘F Word’ and that is exactly how they put it – and they had a load of glamorous celebrities in ‘F Word’ t-shirts. On glancing at it though, I had no idea they were on about feminism, so it seemed ridiculous that an article trying to get us to say and reclaim the word ‘feminism’ isn’t itself actually saying it.
I think Caitlin Moran sums up feminism brilliantly when she says: “What I really want to be, all told, is a human. Just a productive, honest, courteously treated human. One of ‘The Guys.’ But with really amazing hair.”
We don’t want to be different, or get jobs because we’re women. We want to be treated as one of ‘the guys’. The fact that she adds with ‘really amazing hair’ emphasises that we still want to be girls, and enjoy being whoever we are. I don’t think we’ll get this by being afraid to say the word ‘feminism’ or by positive discrimination. If we get a bad reaction when we say we’re feminist, challenge them- ask them what they think it is. The more it is said, the more OK it will be.
We all know the world is changing, more women are going to work, it isn’t all about the men providing anymore. The women don’t want to take over, we want to share. I think in this day and age, everyone, male or female should have some right to flexibility in the workplace. I know many dads that could only have two weeks paid paternity and then had to go back to full time work, when they really wanted to help at home and get used to the massive change in their lives. As more and more women are working as well, there is more emphasis on the man having to help at home as well. Not to mention the single dad’s out there. Why can’t we make it easier for everyone?
It is also worth noting that while these companies discriminate on the basis of motherhood and time out, women are far less likely to change jobs or ask for a pay rise. They are more loyal and cheaper essentially. The cost of replacing an employee usually comes into the tens of thousands for the sort of jobs we’re discussing, and so isn’t a bit of flexi time cheaper in the long run?
The fact we don’t ask to pay rises isn’t a good thing, it’s probably central to why we haven’t got much further since the first feminists. It’s like we got so far and then thought, ‘time for a cuppa.’ Maybe we thought we’d done enough and the jobs would open up, but they didn’t. So now lets give the patriarchy a shove and get in there before the government makes them and it looks like we needed the help.
Image reproduced from cosmopolitan.co.uk
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