I’ve long considered myself a feminist. I went to a girl’s school which inspired me to be this way. Not how you would think, but because of their outdated attitudes towards girls. We had to dress a certain way, be unappealing to boys. We were encouraged academically but not really told about the realities of being a woman in the modern world. We weren’t taught how to juggle motherhood with a career, more we were taught to have careers until we became mothers. We were told to act like ‘ladies’ and our differences with men highlighted rather than we be considered equals. I vividly remember sitting in a lesson about student loans and university and being told by the (male) teacher to not worry about it all, as we would get married, have children and never earn enough to pay the loans back. I sincerely hope that no one ever tells my girls that.
I’ve been trying to educate the girls a little on feminism lately. I encourage them to dress up as successful women when it is a themed day at school. I bought this fabulous book on women who changed the world to inspire them to do great things.
I was completely shocked this morning when I read some comments on a post about International Women’s Day. Comments from women saying that they thought that there was no need for it. That women were equal now, that maybe it had gone the other way and we have more rights than men. SAY WHAT?! Oh how much I want to educate these women. So I felt compelled to spent today trying to get the news about women’s equality out there. Because you know what? We aren’t equal. Sure, in the western world women have more rights than in other parts of the world, but does that mean that we should forget about our sisters abroad? And it doesn’t mean that we are fully equal here – hello pay gap and glass ceiling!!
So I’d like to share some shocking statistics with you. And there are more than this, but these bring it home enough for me…
Women own 1% of titled land in the world?? That’s crazy! If that doesn’t tell you that women aren’t equal nothing will. And it’s not just the big things. I recently read a very interesting post by Emily Quinton about a conference she went to which was aimed at getting women to run their own businesses. But all the women speakers dressed up, hair done, the lot. The one male speaker appeared in his casual best. She made a very good point that although the event was free to go to, the cost to these women was a lot more, they had to factor in outfits and hairdresser appointments. Why did these strong, clever women feel the need to dress up but the men don’t?
By the way, being a feminist doesn’t make me a man hater. I think that we should ALL be feminists, men and women together. I’m not saying that women are greater than men, but that we are definitely not less. I want to raise my girls to believe in themselves. I want them to grow up into a world where women not only have the same rights as men, but are able to use them. I don’t want them to face prejudice and judgement based on decisions they make purely because they are women. I also want to raise my little boy to be respectful of women. To believe in his sisters and to encourage other men to be the same. We are raising a new generation but the struggles of the last are not yet over.
We should ALL be feminists.
Disclosure – this post contains an affiliate link. Because I’m a working woman and I need to earn money!