How I Became a Feminist
I often read comments on social media where women write something in the lines of:
“I’m not a feminist! Men and women are equal!” and I smirk. This is how I used to think back in the day when I was a belligerent teenager and a clueless 20-year-old.
Spoiler Alert: I changed my mind!
I used to consider programs, scholarships etc. directed at women to be positive discrimination and my ego was deeply hurt whenever I applied to something with a female quota.
My best friend changed my mind probably without even intending or realising it when he talked about a woman he interviewed and employed, even though she wasn’t as experienced as the male applicants. He saw potential in her and chose to go past the fact that she hadn’t worked in the field as much.
And why was that? Because she was raised differently than the men in her culture, because she bore and looked after children, in other words because society had set her up differently than her male competitors.
In the meantime, I’ve watched documentaries, read books and articles on feminism, on what it means to be a woman in a patriarchal society and I’ve come to the conclusion that saying you’re not a feminist, that men and women are equal, is complete bullshit, pardon my French.
Depending on the part of the world and the social category we are born and raised in, women get different chances, but they’re never equal to men — the Saharan Tuareg might be different, but hardly representative.
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Men and women SHOULD be equal, sure, now that’s a totally different conversation. However, no one in their right mind can state that they ARE in this day and age when voting and having your own bank account as a woman is a century old development in the most “evolved” part of the world.
Or, as the British historian Eric Hobsbawm puts it, the main social function of bourgeois women in the 19th century was “showing off the breadwinner’s capacity to keep them in bored leisure”.
1. So, we hardly need to establish that women have had fewer political rights throughout history. That’s one thing.
2. Then there’s the upbringing. Daughters are brought up and educated differently than sons, they look at their families and adopt the behaviour they see in adult women around them, media dedicated to men is different than the one dedicated to women and so on.
3. A third and probably most important point is women’s physiology. Going through a monthly menstruation cycle, being pregnant, suckling a baby and all the pains, hormone shifts, mood swings, mental and bodily alterations they come along with are impossible for men to grasp.
Is feminism positive discrimination then? I don’t think so, not anymore.
What I think, is that men should thank nature for positively discriminating against them by not endowing them with a uterus!
I used to be a fixer, a control freak, a millennial woman with great ambitions and little self-esteem. Now I just am. And it’s marvellous! I teach Zumba, Pound and Yoga; I read, write, travel and do my best to enjoy life. Follow to hop in for the ride! Instagram: andra.cd View all posts by andra.cd
Originally published at http://mollyhund.home.blog on June 24, 2020.