Happy VAGINA day wimmin’! Coz that’s basically all it is, innit? We just want to dominate men, take all their jobs, steal all their money and just like, be the boss of everything and rule the world. Right? *sighs*, Wrong.
Well, it’s been quite a year for womankind, hasn’t it? #MeToo and #TimesUp are the two most visible movements that have captured the attention of the entire world. I can say truthfully, hand on heart, that I know not one woman who couldn’t say #MeToo, whether they choose to express it online or not – which is pretty bloody sad.
It’s been a year during which I’ve had to explain at work, why sexism is bad and feminism is different from sexism, and not bad…. seriously. It’s been a year in which I’ve listened to intelligent men say, “oohhoo, gotta be careful now” or “I’m a hugger! What am I gonna do now? I’ve got friends who are women” or “can’t bloody pay a compliment now” – and also watched some (a lot) unknown idiots on telly, say the same. To all of them, I would advise watching the brilliant Rachel Parris on The Mash Report below; for a really simple breakdown of what’s OK, and what’s not OK.
I’m a hugger too, I love hugs, me, they’re great! As the lady said: just don’t hold me a little too tight to escape when the natural and comfortable time is up. And most definitely don’t brush my breast with your arm. Or your semi- on against my thigh in release, that you got during the ‘too long’ bit, because that squirmy moment is what does it for you.
What I was heartened by, however, is the positive steps forward we’ve also seen. Most significantly – shaking off the shackles of fear, allowing us to speak up. A fear of work bullying, a fear of losing your job, a fear of even more severe consequences than the grope in the photocopy room, fear of being ostracised, fear of violence – fear of death. We are nowhere near completely fearless yet, absolutely not, but something significant has shifted, something positive has started – and that can only be a good thing. Time Magazine’s Person of the Year was people. The Silence Breakers.
“The women and men who have broken their silence span all races, all income classes, all occupations and virtually all corners of the globe. They might labor in California fields, behind the front desk at New York City’s regal Plaza Hotel, or in the European Parliament. They’re part of a movement that has no formal name. But now they have a voice.”
Notice also, that Time Magazine has not excluded men. Because ultimately that is exactly what feminism is – a simple and fair desire for equality.
And what can possibly be bad about that.
Happy International Women’s Day one and all. Celebrate women; and their persistence in the fight for equality and to be heard.
NB. International Men’s Day does exist, you do get one, it’s on November 19.