A little bit of girl power

These views are my thoughts and opinions, so please don’t take offense in anyway. If you disagree, I’d love to hear why. I’m always open for someone to change my opinion or share their own with me.

There is feminism everywhere; from everyday conversations to full-blown protests. If you think that men and women are equal and also realise that there is prejudice against women in todays society then you can safely say ‘I am a feminist’. You don’t have to tie yourself to a tree or take part in a huge protest, just simply hold the views. This is what people don’t understand. Feminists have begun to acquire the stereotype of being over-the-top and worst of all ‘men-haters’.

From what I’ve seen there is a very small minority of feminists who have got the wrong end of the stick and as a result have done some seemingly outrageous things. These acts are then publicised through the media  (i.e. Facebook and so-on) and as a result feminists as a collective are beginning to have this ‘men-hater’ persona; which could not be more wrong.

Feminism is about men and women being treated equally, and certainly not women being better than men. Although, I find that even this can be slightly misinterpreted.
I was discussing football with two friends quite recently, one male and one self-proclaimed female feminist. During our conversation the common opinion that men are better at football than women was aroused. This agitated my feminist friend a little as she thinks all men and women are equal in everything we do, which isn’t actually true. Men are better at some things than women, and visa-versa (I can’t really say much on the specific subject of football as I know very little) and by trying to portray women as being just as good as things as men then it is changing what it is to be a women to match the status of a man, therefore, going against feminism and having the opposite effect. We women shouldn’t have to change to be equal to men: we already are equal. The difference between men and women needs to be accepted, we are different but that doesn’t mean we’re not equal.

Unfortunately there is still prejudice when it comes to women and the work place, despite there being huge developments in the world in regards of feminism. One of the reasons for this is because as (some, not all) women, we want children and therefore we often go on maternity leave. When you actually strip it to the bone, it makes sense why an employer would employ a male over a maternal female. It’s simply that the male won’t disappear off for an extended amount of time; it is more secure hiring a man. If you were an employer and you had two possible candidates to choose from, regardless of gender, and one of them had said, ‘oh, I may have to disappear for a year or so half way through my career’, you’re going to choose the other person, right?
Now, don’t get me wrong I still think its unfair that women lose out on jobs because we want children; its not our fault, someone needs to keep the human race going. So, I came up with a possible solution. We give men the option to take just as much paternity leave as we have maternity leave. The baby is just as much the Fathers as the Mothers, so it is only fair he is offered the same amount. This won’t take away the risk of women leaving their jobs for maternity leave, but it will mean that the risk is equal whether your hiring a male or a female. This also allows an employer to choose an employee based fully on the candidates qualities, and not because one of them may disappear, both of them might.

Something else I’ve noticed (I know, I know, you’re thinking ‘goodness she’s got more, will she ever shut up?’ This is the last one I promise) is that because of the stereotype I talked about in the first paragraph people are ashamed to say they’re a feminist. Maybe this is down to the fact that they don’t want to be seen as a over-the-top, loud, annoying person that the stereotype embodies. This needs to change. So, next time someone asks you if you’re a feminist or it pops up in conversation, say it loud and proud: ‘Yep, I’m a feminist’. You don’t have to have tied yourself to a tree or even just attended a protest, if you agree that women and men should be equal, then you are a feminist. The more of us the better, and we can begin to try and change this bad stereotype we have acquired.

Becca x

P.S. Ryan Gosling is a feminist... need I say more?

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