Lets get this out there: I am a straight 21 year old woman with a crackin’ bra on, bright red lippy and bleached blonde hair. I have an amazing boyfriend that plays the guitar which instantly makes him a gazillion times sexier than you. I like glitter and glamour. I am also a feminist.
I can see the eyebrows raising from here. But Laura… you’re straight? You LOVE men? You dress like a woman? If it’s got glitter on it you’re pretty much guaranteed to buy it for christs sake, how the hell can YOU be a feminist? Well I’ll tell you.
Feminism is the belief that women should have absolutely equal standing with men. Socially, politically and economically. It is not as the Daily Mail would have you believe a bunch of man hating bra burning hippies. For me, the most important aspects of feminism are equality and freedom of choice. I want to have the choice of what I’m going to do with my life – if I want to work my arse off and get to the very top of my profession I want to be able to do so without the fear of hitting the glass ceiling, losing my position when I start a family or being paid less than my male counterparts. Equally, I want the option of leaving work to be with my (at this point entirely hypothetical) children without career women sneering at me. I want the option to stay unmarried or keep my own name without people assuming I’m a lesbian. Equally I want to be able to chose to take my (at this point hypothetical) husbands name without other women pointing the finger of disapproval at me. Sisters – we’re all in this together, stop bitching at one another and respect each others choices! This is what we’ve worked so hard to achieve!
Of course there are very complex and current political issues here – the issue of maternity and paternity pay and leave is still a very tender subject. But this and other issues are what flag to me that feminism is still relevant! Until women have the opportunities and choices that we deserve I will not stop shouting about it and invite you to join me. Remember – if you believe in equality of the sexes you are a feminist. And you don’t have to stop shaving your legs.