My best friend and I both describe ourselves as feminists.
She does not have children, by choice. She does not believe in marriage. She has long term boyfriends - serial monogamy. She hates organized religions. She is gorgeous and dresses beautifully in silk dresses. She has a high flier job and earns a decent salary in IT at the boardroom level. (smashed some glass ceilings on the way). She hates sports and the whole macho culture that goes with who is the fastest, strongest, toughest and the narcissists it produces - who will do anything to get there. (thinking of her latest Lance Amstrong rant)
She is appalled by rape and that in the military it gets hidden and pushed aside as occupational hazard. She hates religion for teaching women they must obey men. She finds it offensive people bring their kids to restaurants. She thinks it is terrible that we seem to be a more child - centric society than we were 20 years ago.
Sustainability is an issue - she puts it down to humans becoming too successful for their own good and not thinking we are superior to all other animals. This is a bad thing!
She supports gays and mavericks - people who think different. She champions creativity and the arts & sciences. She hates my dress sense and dresses uniquely but beautifully. Edgy i think! She shuns anything "about fitting in" and the whole cupcake culture as she calls it. You won't catch her reading 50 Shades of Grey.
She is the most amazing and dynamic woman I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. So strong, spirited and completely independent. She is always out, traveling or doing something fun, She is never tired - she admits she sleeps 10 hours a day. She looks 10-15 years younger than she is.
What is amazing is that my life and beliefs are so VERY...VERY...VERY different to hers and thank goodness feminism has given US THe POWER TO CHOOSE! We have another friend who's 16 year old daughter (to her mothers slight horror) is saying she wants to grow up like X.... She is already saying she never wants to get married or have kids.... She does not like kids and is not afraid to say it! At 16 how strong is that?
Without this thing called Feminism women would be shunned and considered evil for not liking kids. Why should we all like kids? Should every woman have kids?
It is quite funny to think that she has lost friends over this as people assume she is weird to question things.
Whenever I hear some politico preaching about family values I think pass the sick bucket. Surely we are in the days of free choice now and can choose the lifestyle we want and not judge others.
I can still uphold feminist values and wear Boden while baking cupcakes if I want. Putting people (women) into boxes is the problem.
My pet hate was the Boots Christmas commercial Here come the girls! Sexism in advertising like the Diet Coke make my skin crawl. Lynx is another brand I refuse to have in this house. It is more difficult with sexism when raising boys. As there are few gender neutral products aimed at them. I notice how assumptions about young men are so ingrained. People on meeting my son will ask him what his favourite football team without even asking if he is into football. Just assumed!
The challenge for me as a feminist is how I raise my son.
Thoughts? I am sure there is plenty of controversy in this post so fire away.