The very word Feminism confuses the hell out of me. I understand what it means, please don’t get me wrong. it’s the notion of being a feminist that confuses me.
Sometimes the mere thought of talking about it has me running and hiding for cover. It’s the reaction from that probably very small level of extremism, that scares me away from sharing my thoughts on the subject.
Alas, I’ve have gone and opened that can of worms now, so here we go. I’m ready to duck for cover if necessary. (Joke! I promise)
So here’s where I’m at.
If feminism means being treated equally on all levels of life, then yes I am a feminist. Of course I am glad I have the right to vote, be equally educated and say no to sex when I don’t want it. To me though that all forms part of basic human rights and something I probably have taken for granted.
Fortunately in the UK we legally have all these things, though I’m not naive enough to not be aware that for some women this is still unfortunately not the case. This is where I feel feminism has it’s place.
However If feminism means that I have to feel shame about the fact that I am a stay at home mum, (note I don’t say full time mum as when I was working that term used to piss me right off), heaven forbid reliant on my husband to bring home the bacon, then I’m going to say “thanks, but no thanks, not for me”.
You see, when I read the idealist view this is often how I’m made to feel. This isn’t my own inadequacy, I can assure you, I love my life. I tried the whole women can have it all thing, juggling work, kids, uni, all whilst trying to maintain a happy marriage, and guess what I dropped several of those balls. Quite spectacuarlly I might add, there was a very loud crash in my life.
I was constantly stressed, miserable in fact, and I was taking it all out on my husband. Now I have less balls to juggle I’m far happier, so is my family life. It just means in terms of earning my keep, I’m not equal. This particular feminist idioligy doesn’t fit with my current sittuation in life. I’m everything that women have fought against, to the outsider my sum of existence in life is all about minding the kids and our home. Oh and that other Elephant in the room? Yes I rely on my husband to provide for us.
What isn’t evident for all to see though is I’m an Open University student, I have career dreams for the future, just not right now. I care as much about equal pay as women that do work. It’s scandalous that two people can be doing exactly the same job equally well, but because one has lady bits she is paid less than her male counterpart.
Maybe it’s because my Husband has always treated me as an equal, that I’ve never had to give feminism much of a thought. It was a joint descision when I stopped working because it would effect both of our lives. We have a joint bank account, have done for years way before I gave up work, it just means I don’t have to go running to him every time I need to go food shopping for example. He trusts me not to go blowing his wages. Household finances come first but we both have an even set amount of pocket money to spend as we wish. Do you see what I mean by being treated as equal?
To me though this is just normal, it’s what happens when you form a partnership with that special someone and have children together. Someone becomes the chief child carer and the other the main breadwinner. Even when I was working I’ve barely earnt enough to cover what he is deducted in taxes, mine just wouldn’t have been a living wage.
He has often said if I was able to earn a higher wage than him he wouldn’t be troubled by a role reversal. It would just make financial sense, and that is as far as the subject would go. Mind you, by the time I have finished my degree, all of my kids will be in secondary school or college anyway so that’s kind of a mute point.
Do you see why I am so confused about where feminism plays a role in my life? I know It does obviously, but I just don’t relate to some of what being a good feminist entails.
What I do appriciate though is that because of feminist campaigners I have the choices that I am blessed with today. If life does go a bit tits up then I only have myself to blame, nobody has forced me into that situation. I don’t feel the need to blame my mishaps on the fact that I am a girl.
What do you think? Do you get confused about what feminism is or where it fits into your life? Does it worry you voicing your thoughts on this subject?
Bye for now, Katy 🙂