I'm Still Learning About Feminism

Feminism symbol. Fighting fist of a woman. Lovely vector illustration. Fight for the rights and equality.

I’m 44 and I’m STILL learning which comes as a surprise as I thought I had it ALL locked down by the time I was 14/25/35.

It seems that the current topic that I’m to learn from is Feminism. 

I was on a panel last night at an event called ‘Do I need Feminism, and does Feminism need me?’

(It came at a perfect time as the book that we’re reading this month in the Midlife Hub Book Club is ‘Feminists Don’t Wear Pink - and other lies’)

When I was asked to speak at this event run by Do It Like A Mother, I knew exactly what I wanted to talk about.

Why we should make men our allies, not our enemies.

Now, I’m aware that whenever talking about feminism we’re open to fallout (and there was a bit of that after my talk last night) BUT if we don’t speak our truth then we’re telling ourselves that our opinions are invalid, and they’re not, even if others don’t agree.

Our feelings are ALWAYS valid.                                                                                                 

There were many women sharing their thoughts, findings and feelings on Feminism, some I agreed with, some I didn’t. Some I understood, some I didn’t, and some that blew my fucking mind - Intersectional Feminism anyone?

It was a room full of women who navigated a conversation that dipped into the many darker GLOBAL feminist issues. We talked about the planned changes in language around Maternity Services, language that is set to include Transgender women, breastfeeding would become chest feeding, pregnant woman would become pregnant person meaning we may see the words Woman and Mother being removed completely. We talked about male privilege and how Feminism isn’t just about gender. It became apparent that Feminism has a vast spectrum and wherever we sit on that spectrum we’re all there with the same end goal.

What we need to remember when we listen to others speak, whether it be about touch paper topics such as Feminism or something less evocative, that their perspective will have been built from a number of influences. 

Childhood, culture, education, experience ALL come to play when we formulate ideas and opinions. 

In my case I was raised by an angry, man hating, head shaving feminist. I didn’t want to be angry, or man hating, nor did I want to shave my head, and because that’s how Feminism was ‘sold’ to me I rejected it, I took on the side of the men, I became the defence for the men.

(I am also a survivor of domestic violence, I feel that’s relevant).

This lead to me sticking my head (unshaven) into the sand, and sticking my fingers deeply into my ears whenever the F word came up (not Fuck, I love that word).  And so when I think of Feminism now, I only have a very shallow knowledge of the real damage that was historically created by the Patriarchy, but now I’m open, and I’m learning. 

With my limited knowledge, my past reject of female Feminists and my now being a mother of 3 boys/men I feel that we need to ease up on men in general, I feel strongly that the Patriarchy is not man but system and I truly believe that men can be our gateway to creating change in that system. 

The world is still only listening to men, so let’s make friends with the men, lets use our feminine powers of instinct, emotional intelligence, attention to detail, manipulation and sheer grit and determination to get men to do the work for us. Tell them we need their help, stroke their egos, pass them the microphone and watch them draw a crowd. Then when the crowd has formed, take the mic back. 

I truly believe that there are enough good men around us who are just as keen to see equality in the world as we are. Men that ARE on our side, but they won’t want to help while they feel under attack , and while they’re living in fear of being attacked if they even begin to raise the topic (what the fuck do they know, they’re men, they’ll never get it, they aren’t allowed an opinion). 

My older sons (22 & 19) DO feel under attack by Feminism, yet they present as Feminists. They want equality but are too busy defending their position as men to be able to do anything about it. Yes they have male privilege, but they didn’t choose it and they certainly shouldn’t feel lesser because of it. 

I know that my thoughts may have got your hackles up or made you do a little sick in your mouth (we can’t be liberated if we use our feminine prowess to get men to do the job) but this is just me throwing my ‘lets put a stop to all this bullshit’ onto the table, and if we all bring whatever we have,  and work together including men rather than blaming me, maybe, just maybe we can create change faster? 

I don’t want the future to be female as I talked about in my previous blog ‘This Topic Makes Me Ragey’. I don’t want women to become the oppressor, I want equality for all. 

The future is HUMAN. 

I would love to know how you feel about feminism? 

Do you think the bullshit will ever be over? 

Did you do a little sick in your mouth? 

Let me know if the comments.

Have you heard about the hub?

The Midlife Hub is my Facebook subscription group. It’s a community of women who are all navigating their way through midlife.

It’s a place where we can ask the questions regarding peri-menopause, fashion, sex, relationships, a place where we can have some fun, share our experiences, make friends and feel less alone.

Midlife doesn’t have to mean crisis.