It started, as all the great debates do these days, on social media. “When will feminism have achieved its goal?” an acquaintance asked. “These days women don’t even take their husbands last names… has it all gone too far?”
It stirred up a mighty discussion about the pros and cons of women taking their husband’s surname, but it quickly progressed into something more.
Because, here’s the thing: identifying yourself as a feminist these days is not generally considered a positive thing.
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Feminists are viewed as being ballsy, and mouthy, and aggressive, and whiney. Not exactly traits we’re all vying to project…
However, the truth is, we are all feminists. Every single one of us.
Here’s a quick test: do you believe that a man and a woman who do the exact same job – say driving a bus, or educating your kids as a primary school teacher – deserve to earn the exact same pay?
If you answered yes, then you’re a feminist.
There are still so many ways in which men and women are viewed different through society’s lenses.
For instance, a woman being passionate and opinionated is told to tone it down, that they’re coming across aggressive and bitchy, while those same traits in men are seen as ‘highly desirable’ leadership qualities.
On the flipside, a dad will often get a massive pat on the back for ‘babysitting’ his own kids. A mother spends all day cooking, cleaning, feeding, playing and nurturing, but when dad watches the kids for two hours while mum has dinner with her friends he gets a ticker parade? Give me a break!
Let’s not forget that single mothers are stigmatised, whereas fathers are held in the highest regard. A single dad who manages to get the kids ready and off to school each day? Well, that’s a true reflection of not only a great dad, but a tops Aussie bloke (did somebody say ‘hero’?).
Oh, and let’s not forget how it is still a women’s job to ensure that she is not too attractive (she’s asking for it!) or too unattractive (she let herself go… of course her husband cheated). And you best believe that if a woman in Australia is raped, it will be her behaviour that is put under the microscope.
When we realise how far we have to go in all of the above, then we realise that, no, feminism hasn’t gone too far.
In fact, it still has a long, long way to go.