No, not that one. The other one. Although that one is fun to say. Especially when you live in Italy and Italians seem to find it funny, nay, almost charming when they hear a Brit drop the F word. But today I want to talk about the other F word. You guessed it? Today I want to talk about feminism.
Coinkidink that I should choose to talk about this on International Women’s Day? Naaa, course not. And before some of you raise a suspicious eyebrow and think – well why don’t men have a day then? Or turn off at the thought of feisty femmes shouting about their V’s, let’s stop for a minute and think – what’s the F word actually about?
To be honest I actually avoid using the word feminism despite being a passionate feminist. But why? Because fundamentally it is a fight for gender equality. And having the word ‘female’ in ‘feminist’ (along with those who seem to think its a battle to show the world which gender is ‘better’) doesn’t actually help get across what it is we are fighting for.
Let’s rewind a little and imagine we’ve placed ourselves in a parallel universe where Venus rules and has done since the dawn of womenkind…
Since the dawn of time, women have been writing history. Women give life after all, they provide men with sons and daughters, they ‘raise’ children and therefore write history from their point of view. Because, let’s face it, in this world, that makes perfect sense. In writing history from their female point of view, women overtly laugh at the uselessness of a man, who is unable to bear a child, unable to provide milk for their newborn and is ‘unable’ to raise a child. Women, as a result, write history, lead villages which eventually grow into towns, cities and go on to become world leaders because, let’s face it, all them darn men seem to be good at is chopping down trees, hunting for food and keeping the bed warm at night (ding dong). We’ll allow them to do that. Let’s let them do that. Their manly things. Plus the sex thing.
Fast forward to the modern day this manly imagine has prevailed and men are gawped at by successful women, who, of course, earn more than the lower achieving gender, grope them as and when they please whilst going to their high earning power jobs and merely use them as sexual entertainment. And of course, as advertising is mainly a women dominant industry, men are portrayed exactly in this manner. Be it in films, the music industry or billboards. Make sure their butt cheeks and abs are on display ‘cos that’s all women wanna see. And if his body ain’t the perfect sculpture chiseled by Michelangelo, then simply airbrush it. These men can’t even ‘just stay at home’ to raise and mother a child, because of course, these women manage to do both whilst ruling the world. These men just stick to the manly things, the manly jobs and leave the women to sort out the rest. Wow. Kinda got lost in that world for a minute there.
Ok, so what’s your point?
While I do kinda like the sound of this ‘Women’s World’, had history occurred in this way, would we still be dropping the F word? Well no, it would be the M word. Wuddnit? ‘Masculism’. Or something of the sort. Which brings me to my point. So many people get turned off by this idea of having a women’s day when there isn’t a men’s day. Turned off by hearing another feisty femme ranting about feminism. We’re using the wrong bloody word guys. What we’re actually fighting for is equality.
So I say, we should be using the word equalist or equalitist. And for me, that’s what we celebrate on International Women’s Day (or International Gender Equality Day as it could be called).
And this is exactly why men can be feminists too. Gender equality is what (the majority of) men and women want. We want to live in a world where men and women are equally paid. In a world where a man can choose to stay at home allowing the woman in his life to pursue her career and achieve her ambitions. And linking this back to the theme of this blog ‘Key Flow’, how great would it be to see more more women doing martial arts and more men doing yoga?! We didn’t make these ridiculous gender-biased rules. And if rules aren’t made for breaking, then I don’t know what they’re for.
So how are you celebrating International Women’s Day and what part are you playing in breaking the gender biased rules?