I am proud to call myself a feminist. I support the Fawcett Society, I co-edit Women’s Views on News, I try to be a positive female role model for my daughters… basically I do my bit.
Sometimes I find it a tiny bit depressing.
It’s not that I don’t care about equality – I absolutely do. The fact that women earn less than men isn’t right. Underrepresentation of women in politics and business bothers me. Sometimes though, feeling passionate about an injustice means you focus on the negative, on the things you feel are wrong and that you want to put right, and this sometimes makes me sad, because I become so tied up in all the things that aren’t fair, that I forget all the good things.
So today, when I read in The Daily Mail that men are losing out to women in many areas of life, I ignored my first instinct, namely to rubbish everything the Mail says, and thought instead about how lucky I am. This doesn’t mean I think there isn’t anything left to fight for, just that I’m not in a battling mood today.
The Daily Mail are reporting on the findings of the ’How Fair is Britain?’ report from the Equality and Human Rights Commission, and highlight the fact that women are less likely to lose their jobs in a recession, more likely to eat well and look after their health, less likely to be victims of violent crimes, and so on. Well that’s all well and good, but you can read that anywhere can’t you? So, instead I’ve decided to come up with my own list of reasons why it’s great to be a woman:
We have boobs. It’s something we take for granted, but perhaps we shouldn’t. Perhaps we need to take a more male perspective on this one…
We can grow people inside of us. How clever is that?? Sure, it hurts a bit getting them out, but basically it means our bodies are amazing. Once these tiny people are born, we can even feed them ourselves and make them grow. Pretty cool huh?
We can talk about our insecurities, cry in front of our friends and not feel too silly. Unless it’s in front of our friends in the middle of a restaurant or something, then you do tend to feel a bit silly, but it’s still forgivable.
We get first dibs on the kids. Yes you could argue that it’s an awful lot of unrewarded, unpaid, boring hard work – the relentless washing, cooking, childcare, no personal freedom, sole responsibility for turning vulnerable children into fully formed adults… but… um… what was my point? Oh yes… kids. Well, you’ve gotta love ‘em haven’t you? Not by law or anything of course. But you just do.
We get to wear dresses. Wouldn’t it be dull if you just had to wear trousers all the time? And you couldn’t wear high heels and stockings sometimes? Not that you can’t do these things if you’re a man, but it tends to be less acceptable in an office environment.
We don’t have a penis. Thank God. No embarrassing erections, no communal shower anxiety, so worries over length or girth. Phew!
We are happier in our jobs. We may not always get paid as much, but there is plenty of research to show that despite often being in crappier jobs, with less responsibility and less recognition, women on average are happier at work than men.
We don’t have to like sport. Watching or playing. We don’t have to be good at football and there is no expectation that we will understand either the rules or the point of cricket.
Well that’s plenty to get you started I think. I’d love to hear your additions for my ‘why it’s great to be a woman’ manifesto…