Feminism: the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes.
This International Women’s Day is different. As I’ve opened my mind to more books and podcasts full of different thoughts and ideas, I can’t help but see feminism at every opportunity without even trying. Maybe my brother put it best: once you burst the feminism bubble there is no going back. You can no longer pull the wool over your eyes or cover your ears to avoid the sexism and inequality that plagues our everyday lives.
All of a sudden, a passing comment from someone you’ve know for years can trigger something inside you because of its derogatory connotation or sexist view. The worst part is, though you may be fired up, people aren’t even aware they’re doing it. We’re brought up in a society where we have heard sarcastic jokes and humour rooted in gender biases on repeat. Just by referring to a sports team on a losing streak as a bunch of girls immediately paints women as inferior, unable to get the job done. And men aren’t the only ones to blame - we women have to watch our tongues too. We have to have the balls - wait, no, the confidence to change the rhetoric. We have to catch ourselves in those moments to correct our speech or else we’re no closer to making positive change for the next generation.
More importantly, we need to teach girls and boys the power of women. We need them to hear us speak about each other on equal terms without putting one sex down to lift the other up. I remember being on an airplane once and a mother was sitting with her two young children: a boy and a girl. The girl was working on her colouring book when the boy said “you know boys are more confident than girls”. I think the mother was as shocked as I was but I was more interested in how she was going to deal with it. She asked him what confident meant and if he understood the word. Sure enough he was too young to even understand the sentence but he had obviously heard this statement before and thought it was okay to repeat it.
If we’re going to make a difference, we have to change the conversation - and that includes our own. We can talk about feminism all we want but we need to listen to the dialogue among our peers, friends and family if we’re going to continue to work towards a world of equality.
Share this post with the men and women in your life that are passionate about spreading the word of what feminism is all about.