Are you a feminist?
Honestly, how did you answer that in your head?
Maybe you said “absolutely”, “I think so”, “I guess”, “not really”, or “NO WAY!”
With International Women’s Day last, it has sparked a lot of conversations around being a feminist. This can only be a good thing!
The word ‘feminist’ has been dragged through the mud, spat on, screamed at, made to be ugly and considered only for the extreme. The word feminist has been misused and misrepresented to describe women who hate men so much that they want to chop off every penis they come across.
Funnily enough I am a feminist and I’m also very partial to male dangly bits.
I simply believe in equal rights and opportunities for both ladies and gents. To me it is straight forward and completely logical. Why shouldn’t I be paid the same as the guy standing next to me? Why shouldn’t I have the same opportunities as my colleagues who have pronounced adams apples.
If I want to run my own business, become a CEO* or ask for a promotion, my gender should not be a consideration. I want my boys to know that anything is possible for them and all of their friends because they saw their dad AND mum kicking ass in their careers.
My boyfriend is a feminist. A proud one. He gets it. He knows that being a feminist is believing and supporting me, his mum, sisters and female friends in having the same opportunities as him. He is making a stand for our potential future daughter having the exact same rights as ours boys. Sometimes it makes people feel uncomfortable when he says loud and proud that he is a feminist. Maybe they feel like I have him under the thumb or trying to be ‘new age’. None of that is true. He is simply making a stand for what is right.
A lot of people think that in Australia everything is fine, that equality has happened. Yes, compared to many other countries we have come a long way, but that can’t be our bench mark.
In Australia women are still responsible for 80% of domestic duties. We earn less than men (18.8% less) for the same work, even though 60% of university graduates are female. Our voices are heard less too, just look at the women in Federal Parliament. Look hard, they are there. Somewhere. (Only 26% in the House of Representatives and 38% in the Senate are women)
On my radio show, the 3PM Pick up on Kiis, my co-host Zoe Marshall and I went around the office and asked a few men if they considered themselves a feminist and what the word means to them. The responses shocked me a little bit.
In 2015, no one should think that being a feminist means you are an angry man-hater.
To all the women and especially the men, it is okay to be a feminist, in fact it is essential for real change to take place. There is no weekly meeting you need to attend and no bra’s or male appendages that will be sacrificed.
You can support racial equality and not be black. You can be a feminist and not be female. It is just about equality. Simple as that.
It is time to shed the outdated stereotype of what a feminist is. We all need to own the word!
*Currently only 3% of Australian CEO’s are females.
What do you feel about the word feminist? What does it mean to you?
Check out some of our favourite well known Aussie men talking about gender equality.