Sunday, 8 March 2015

Happy International Women's Day! Today and every day!

Today is International Woman's Day.

Stuff like this matters to me.  I am a feminist - no doubt about it.  I believe as a woman, you really have no choice; after all, feminism is basically just saying you want a slice of what everyone else has in the world and that you deserve it too.  And you know what?  Women definitely do.

We fight from such a young age against a dominant patriarchy, who are determined (whether they are aware of it or not) to keep us pink and weak and submissive.  Which, trust me, we are not.

From babies festooned in sugar-pink clothes, to pink 'girl' Lego, books 'Just for girls'  and the idea that women have no other choice than to raise a family at home while the man goes out to work - negative stereotypes are still very much prevalent in our day to day lives.

Personally, I believe we need a day like this, not only to recognise the progress we have made as a society, but also to flag up the attitudes and practices which still exist to degrade us.

Of course, in the Western world, we are very lucky as far as feminism goes.  A majority of things have at least been under the microscope even for a short amount of time, even if they still aren't good and right yet.  It can seem like such an overwhelming thing to think of all the horrific and barbaric practices which still face women in other parts of the world.  But we can make this better by starting where we stand.  By doing this, we raise the bar and we make it even more difficult for other countries to ignore what goes on in their backyard.  And maybe we can help contribute and highlight their causes too.

We can look at it on a high scale and champion the causes of forgotten women who made amazing contributions in their lifetimes, and were pushed aside simply because they were women.  We can become involved in our communities and engage in Women's Festivals, charity events or even celebrate femininity in it's different forms by attending lectures, educating ourselves further and helping ourselves.

Let's not stop at one day though.

How about we celebrate women every day?

Let's champion the women who do stay at home and raise their families and let's not have in-fighting when it comes to parenting.  We all have different ways of bringing up our kids, whether that be breastfeeding, formula feeding, baby wearing, using a pram, co-sleeping or separate beds.  Please, let's start with the basics and look outward instead of in to each other.  Let's stop damaging each other and let's start attacking the things that really do matter.

Let's fight for more support for new mothers.

Let's challenge childcare policies and get better results for our kids.

Let's ask the toy manufacturers to give our kids equal playing opportunities and to stop engendering toys and books.

Let's give our young girls and ladies opportunities and ideas about work and careers and education which suit them rather than what society thinks they should do.

Let's support women in whatever they want to do in life.

Let's make it easier for women to have a career as well as children.

Let's help our women become equal in academia, education and sciences.

It's a tough gig being a woman.  Let's celebrate today, yes.

But let's also remember our contributions every single day and champion them.  It's so important.

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