The 8th of March is a day of recognition and celebration for all the important women in the world, the community, even within your own family. Up until a couple of years ago I would never say I was a feminist. Coming from an all-girls school with a heavily Catholic ethos it was not recognised well as being a feminist, purely because it was associated with men hating, lesbianism, unshaved legs and bra free breasts – never a good group to be a part of as a teenager! However, the more time I have spent at university and my on thoughts of the sheer recognition and celebration of women’s rights, equality and female determination the more I realise I am 100% feminist! I love celebrating female achievements and I love watching people succeed – overcoming objectives and ploughing through boundaries.
I class myself a quite a confident person, someone who will challenge ideas and primitive thinking and archaic views (as I usually do sitting around my kitchen table with my parents!) I do not think I have been made to feel overly uncomfortable amongst men per se but I have been made to feel embarrassed around other women. Women are the hardest critics, and again, being in a same-sex school, girls were hard on themselves and others. I think it might be a territory or intimidation thing in that woman are threatened by other strong women and are therefore feel the need to attack to assume their own control and female identity on a situation. This should not happen, yes all women are different, but why not celebrate differences and similarities amongst them?
I think Emma Watson’s discussion about her, for some, risqué front page with Vanity Fair (of which I think it’s an excellent shot), was right in that feminism represents liberation and coming together in support of one another, feminism is not an excuse for women to criticise other women. I think, overall, women are particularly hard on themselves, we need to start embracing and accepting women in all shapes, sizes, colours, hair styles, sexuality, gender identity and everything in between. What is important is that women feel they are in control of themselves and they are doing what they want to do. It’s up to us women who have more freedom than women in developing countries to help and support in any way. Women are not considered equal in society – YET – but that just forces us to have more gusto and to continue the fight. Let’s not be quite because at the end of the day the future really is female!
We have some amazing roles models that are women in this country. Firstly, let’s consider the impact of three longest serving monarchs – all namely QUEENS – Queen Elizabeth I, Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth II, we also have the amazing Princess Kate, Elizabeth Garett Anderson, The Pankhurst’s, Annie Lennox and Katie Piper. Branching further afield we have Oprah Winfrey and Ellen Degeneres along with so many other women.
Then when we look into our families we have so many incredible women from mums, aunties, grandma’s, cousins, sisters, daughters, nieces and friends. Often if you think of a role model it will be another woman. So ladies, take a minute to congratulate yourselves on being strong independent women and do not forget to tell that special woman in your life how much they mean to you!
I have not done anything too differently today, but I have noticed so many more Instagram and Facebook quotes for and about women and recognising the impact we have! My favourite one came from poet Mary Angelou:
I love to see a young girl go out and grab the world by the lapels. Life’s a bitch. You’ve got to go out and kick ass.
So, as Shania Twain said … let’s go girls!