What feminism means to me…

Hello everyone, I’m back. To be honest, I’m not exactly sure where I went, but it was nice either way. I just needed a little break so part of me was not shackled to the blogging calendar. Plus, it was making me feel a bit nervous! Anyway today, I bring you something different. 🙂

Welcome to my stop on The Guilty Feminist Blog Tour, hosted by Virago Books!

So, what is The Guilty Feminist? I hear you ask. Well, it’s a great book by Deborah Frances-White (Podcast host and legend) about Feminism, women’s imperfections and everything else about being a woman!

As part of the tour, I was asked to choose between two topics (both feminism related) and my choice was ‘what feminism means to me’.

Firstly, I’d like to start with how feminism is defined:

The advocacy of women’s rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes.

how do I define feminism and what does it mean to me?

Let’s start with a brief history of my childhood. I came from a single parent family and my mum and I lived with my nan and granddad until I was 15 years old. At the time, I wasn’t aware, but now looking back it was clear that I had two strong women in my life, my mum and my nan. My mum essentially made me realise that you don’t need a man (or anyone) to help you live your life or most importantly, be happy. I can imagine being a single parent is naturally an unhappy time because you’d want to share your child and being a first time parent with someone you love – again, whether they are male or female.

My mum and my nan were both heavily involved in political groups and workers unions and people listened to them and were glad of their support. They achieved news worthy things and that’s because they were strong, not necessarily because they were women. They’ve never been afraid to go for what they want and even if they didn’t succeed they were happy they did something, rather than doing nothing.

Now, the strong females in my family don’t stop there. In a (small) family of 8, 6 of us are female. I can honestly say there isn’t a quiet one out of the lot – actually, I lie, I’m probably the quietest, but that’s fine! We support each other and see each other regularly, with times which are always filled with love and laughter.

Family life and being a strong female is what helped me, my work life is a different scenario.

During my career, I’ve never really had a massive problem, or any problem, with my gender. I’ve usually had a great time and enjoyed the company. However, there have been a few situations where my gender has affected how I do my job.

In one place I worked, I remember that when I used to recommend something they’d go ‘no, that doesn’t work’ or ‘we’ll think about it’ and nothing happened. Then a male colleague would suggest the same thing and he’d get it approved. Now, they are just as much to blame for being a sneak, but if a male said something to management it was gospel and if a female said something they would get ignored. To be honest, it could have been they were questioning our knowledge but it seemed to happen more with female colleagues.

And another time, a lady who I used to work with wouldn’t let me lift and move a box because a male colleague should be doing it for me. I kept asking why. The box was not heavy, I was carrying it in the right way (health and safety) and if I didn’t feel like I couldn’t do it believe me, I wouldn’t do it (I’m stubborn). Why did she feel the need to turn a normal day-to-day task into an issue? Plus, why didn’t see ask a female colleague? they could have been stronger than me!

In conclusion, I don’t see myself as a feminist, but more as a strong and confident person that knows what they want. I wouldn’t let anyone (male or female) push me around and I certainly wouldn’t want to be treated differently just for being a woman – I’d remove myself from the situation. The thing is, I would say that this rule should apply to men too. It really shouldn’t have anything to do with gender.

So, there we have it. Just be who you want and enjoy life!

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