It is a shame but I can’t. I like to think of myself as a forward thinking woman, and as a feminist but I can’t bring myself to be defined by that word. I am fiercely supportive of women. Like to stand up for women whenever I can. Was inspired by women in Africa making a change for themselves and their families.
But call myself a feminist? I am not sure I want to if I am brutally honest.
I listened to a really interesting piece on Woman’s Hour last week about feminism and on whether women calling in would call themselves a feminist or not. And the more I listened, the more I realised that I couldn’t do it. And I fear there may be a back lash for now admitting this.
A backlash like the lovely Kate recently got on her blog when she posted a lighthearted post about The Ten things they should tell you about having a girl . It was a lighthearted, jovial look at being a mum of a daughter. Tongue in cheek.
What happened next was, quite frankly, despicable. Women claiming that in the name of feminism Kate was vile. That Kate should be ashamed of herself. That Kate was a disgrace. Were these “friends” of Kate’s? People that Kate had interacted with on social media? No. They were women who had ganged up on Kate after a link to the post was copied onto a Facebook group with “look at this”. Women then arrived on Kate’s blog to do nothing short of bully her.
Is that what feminism is about? Is it about telling a woman how she should think? What she should do? Is it? Is that why women chained themselves to railings?
No, I don’t believe it was. I believe it was so women could have their voice heard. Their voice. Not the voice that somebody else tells them they should have.
I commented on Kate’s post, saying exactly what I thought about the actions of those anonymous women.
I always think it is a shame when so called feminists attack other women. They feel it appropriate to be rude and offensive to somebody they have never met. Just because one of their friends posted in a Facebook group and said “ooh look at this”, all sitting there being vile and then come here to launch an attack.If that is what feminism is about well, count me out quite frankly.I have two girls and as much as I didn’t stereotype them at the end of the day, given a choice, they wanted pink. They wanted Barbie. They wanted net princess drapes over their beds. Do I tell them no and demand they have blue and grow balls?No. As a mother I respect THEIR wishes. THEIR opinions. I support what THEY want and I go with it.Not ram my opinions onto them.And I teach them that bullying other women for their thoughts and opinions is wrong and just that. Bullying.’
Kate has now kindly quoted that in her follow up post: Pink is a Feminist issue — apparently
I stand by that comment. Why should I be ashamed to have dressed my girls in pink? Does it make me less of a woman because I cook my husband a meal every night? Should I refuse to go through a door that is being held open for me by a kindly gent?
Yes I believe that women should be equal, that we should have the same rights as men etc. Of course I do. I have two daughters. I am teaching them that they can stand up for themselves. To fight for what they believe in. That their sex should not be a barrier to doing anything.
But at the same time I am teaching them that bullying people, that trampling over another person’s views, that ganging up on others is wrong. That it should never happen.
And certainly not under the name of feminism.