Being good enough at feminism

Feminism feels like something someone else should write about. Someone who has read all the books, who has all the answers, who has it ‘down’.

To be honest I don’t even know if I want to write about this. Its a complex debate. So loaded. It can be intimidating.

Someone who is ‘much better at feminism’ than me could read this and decide that I was writing about it all wrong  – too hesitant, too uncertain – and decide I was letting women down. Because there are a few like that out there; women who talk other women down, for ‘talking  women down’. Mary Berry got slammed. Kirsty Allsopp  got bashed. Then the women who bashed Kirstie got bashed.

I get it though, its disappointing, I bashed a few of them too, less eloquently, over wine with friends. I was pretty pissed off when I found out that there are over 17,000 women on facebook who’ve joined a movement called ‘women against feminism’ (I’m not linking to them – they don’t deserve the traffic). Its ironic  –  all falling over themselves to tell the world they don’t need feminism – whilst forming a group to make strong assertions about the good treatment they have in their lives –  respect; equal relationships; careers where they are treated fairly.

Er…I hate to break it to you girls but that sounds like feminism. And you’re making some sad statements.

Oh shit…but do I now accidentally sound like I’m the ‘opposite of a feminist’? Judging other women – who are opposed to being feminists – telling them that they don’t know what they mean, what they are?

I can sort of see how we got to a place where some women feel alienated.

When I was younger, I didn’t like the question ‘are you a feminist?’ It felt like a trick question. ‘Er yeah obvs’. But answering it could feel extreme, like putting my religious or political beliefs out there. Or it felt like a quiet hypocrisy – because I was also facebook stalking men and wearing foundation to the gym. Feminism felt like – and it can still feel like – something I’m not good enough at, for some people.

Feminism should be a straightforward concept, a no brainer – equality for women, choice, a voice. But its blurred with so many complex sub-debates about career and family. Whether women can be ‘the same’ as men; whether women ‘need’ men; if our life experiences can realistically be equivalent. I don’t quite know the answer to all of these questions, I just know my own opinion.

But I do know that I am a feminist. As I get older – become a ‘woman of a certain age’ and see the unfairness in our world, from the violence and inequality we read about, to the subtle sexist shit my friends and I have seen and faced at work, in relationships, in London – I need it more than ever.

Talking about feminism needs to get easier. Being a feminist needs to feel easier for more women, more straightforward. It needs to be a no-brainer. Equality. Just basic human rights. We need it. We really do. There should be no question.

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