Last Friday on International Women’s Day I started thinking about what I thought about the day and what it really means. I’m still not really sure what I think of the day, highlighting something for just one day which needs to be a consideration all the time unsettles me yet if because of the day someone gains a better understanding of women’s issues surely that is a good thing. I was reading an article only today in Nature discussing how science is still institutionally sexist. and for me at least when I think about these issues more deeply I’m worried that equality is at a status quo.
I would describe myself as a feminist, no I don’t hate men or have hairy armpits I like shoes, do take a pride in my appearance and like to bake, but I can be all of those things and still be a feminist. When I was first thinking about what feminism meant a few years ago I didn’t really know how to gain any information to help put my thoughts about it into context and guide me. I tried reading ‘the Female Eunach’ and for me it wasn’t accessible then I tried going to a local feminist group, but again it was not for me, at the time it seemed too academically focused and I felt I didn’t really connect with what they were saying there. What I found was a really good starting point was a book that I was given for Christmas by a friend, Caitlin Moran’s ‘How to be a Woman’. For me this book put the issues and debates surrounding feminism into something I could really understand, relate to and actually get angry about.
I’m not against fashion, baking or lifestyle blogs, I love them all, but I can’t help thinking that these places can be used as a space to discuss ideas on gender whilst educating and empowering. By no means am I suggesting people change the direction of their blog and for most it may be out of place to put in random posts about feminism. But if someone reading this post thinks about things regarding gender inequality more deeply or reads an article or picks up a book about it then in some way passes that message forward then I think that can only be a good thing. I have no idea what to do next regarding this, but do feel ready to learn and educate myself more.