Am I a feminist?

I’ve noticed, on social media, that feminism is becoming increasingly cited as both a valiant cause and the root of all evil.

For example, the view that feminism fights for equality for all is valiant.  The view that women are not to be treated as a lower class is man hating vitriol.

If you think that’s an exaggeration, spend a day looking at Caroline CriadoPerez’s twitter feed – @CCriadoPerez.  Recognise the name? She is the ‘man-hating’ ‘imagine the worst insult’ woman who dared to suggest that a female should appear on a British bank note.

As a result of her suggestion, she received suggestions that she should take her own life, have a good seeing to and die a slow and painful death.  There were many more vile trolls involved but, she did receive some justice when the police became involved.

This situation led me to question my position.  Was I incensed that people didn’t agree that a woman should be represented on our currency.  In short, no.  What did annoy me was that, a person could be abused for being female and for having an opinion.  You may be interested to know that one of the prosecuted trolls was a woman.

This brings me to my evaluation of how I view female equality.

For me, feminism is actually a term for equal rights; I am a woman and wish to be treated equally where equality exists.

If I apply for a job or fulfill a role where I am equally able to perform as a male candidate, I want to be judged on my ability; not my age, gender, clothing size or mobility.

I don’t want to be a tick in a box that says the quota of female or disabled or plus-size employees has been met in-line with that company’s equal opportunities policy.  I also don’t want to lose out on a job because those boxes don’t need ticking.

There are some elements of feminism that I don’t agree with…

These are the elements that contradict good manners and or common sense.

Hold the door open for me as that is what I would do for you.

Offer to carry something for me if I seem to be struggling, I’d help you.

Offer me your seat if you are more able to stand, I recognise that there are people worse off than I am.

Talk to me, I’m chatty and often crave company.

Some jobs are better suited to others.  I could not work at height, stand for very long, carry a hod of bricks or carry multiple plates in a restaurant.  My list goes on.

There are many people who excel at jobs that I could not do.  This has no bearing on their sexuality, their heritage or anything else other than their ability.  I am not offended that I would not be offered jobs of this nature.

Women in the workplace

are faced with all manner of prejudice so, let’s work on making sure that equal representation comes from ability and brings equal earnings.  Don’t put a woman on the board just because she’s a woman.  Don’t exclude her, just because she’s a woman.  Stop ticking boxes and start valuing the workforce.  The whole workforce.

Sister bashing

One thing that I find most distasteful is what I call sister bashing and it is represented as the female troll in court, as above.

I truly believe that one gets more out of life from building up others than from beating them down ( I speak metaphorically not literally).  British people often support the underdog and that, for me, is fabulous but, how quickly do we turn?

Susan Boyle was an internet sensation.  An overnight success across the world.  She was the darling of Britain’s Got Talent and my, we did enjoy seeing the smug grin wiped off Simon Cowell‘s face.  However, what did we do?  We allowed the gutter press to probe and dig into her background, identify her weaknesses and push her to a very public breakdown.  Why?  I have no clue.

We should celebrate our quirks.  Love each other.  Speak only kindly. Help where we can. We shouldn’t judge nor be prepared to hear or read unkindness.

My Nana told me to judge people on how they treat me.

Was she a feminist?  No, she was just the kindest woman I ever met.

So, am I a feminist?  You tell me.