Oh, where to begin… So many thoughts and so many layers to discuss something so big and influential as feminism…
Let’s just put it out there: I am not a huge fan of feminism as it is used nowadays. I will try to keep this post short and controlled, as this subject usually triggers a bit of a reaction in me.
Just to clarify: I agree on equal rights for women. I am glad that I live in a country where women are treated equally to men. And of course I am glad I also grew up in a developed country, where women had the same rights as men. Well… given that one of the Cantons only allowed women to vote in 1991… but was by far the last one to do so… And the funny thing is, that in the Canton of Appenzell women were actually allowed to vote on National issues but not on Cantonal and regional ones… Silly, right?!
Anyway. I understand that it was necessary to stand up in order to gain those rights. And we achieved it, right! I mean, in all western countries women actually enjoy the same rights men do. Do we really live in that way? Maybe not, but that is more a decision taken by us as well, right?
First of all an observation (and that might come across as a feminist thought…):
I find it amazing how many of my working mom friends actually joggle everything… They get up early, make sure breakfast is ready for everyone, including husband, some of them even put cloths out for kids and hubby, then they drop kids off at school and head to work. After work they quickly pick up his suits from the dry cleaner, pick up kids from school, go grocery shopping and prepare dinner again for everyone. besides that they do the laundry, wash the dishes and clean the home… He goes to work.
Now, see, that is one of the things everything inside of me screams “where is the bloody equality?”! But: This is not political, it is private. And so many women still feel that it is their job to take care of everything but on top of that you have to chase after a career as well, because that is what a woman nowadays has to do! It is what feminism taught us! To the point, where you feel weird only sitting at home and being a SAHM (stay at home mom)…
And then there is the next little thing:
Finally, after you had a break form your job, you get back in the workforce. If you are lucky, you actually get to work in the same position as before. And maybe you are lucky as well and you get offered the same kind of salary (wow, that again sounds rather pro feminism…). But are you really worth that salary? You will leave earlier in case to pick up kids (maybe), you might take more days off, as your kids might be sick. You might get a couple of phone calls from school because your kids are in trouble, hurt themselves or got sick… Maybe you have to run off to go see the principal… Equality?
See, i strongly believe that a woman should be treated equally and that she should earn the same salary as a man, if she is able to provide her employer with the same result as the man. In office jobs this should not be an issue. In a lot of jobs it would not be one. But what about hard labor? Hard, physical labor? I agree, that a woman should not be “punished” for the fact, that her physic might not allow her to do the same kind of heavy duty as a man. But then, she might not be able to do it, so why pay her for something she is not able to do? Same in case a guy is not able to do it… You know: Equality…
And that is a point, where I very often shake my head in disbelief listening to certain women, who are happy to say, that no matter of the fact that the physic of a woman does not allow her to do a certain job properly, she should still be paid the same amount. Why??? This has nothing to do with being fair (which is, what feminism was all about as well, right? Treating everyone equally and fair)! It is not fair towards the guy, who physically works his butt off and in doing so probably breaks his back to lift the additional weight, his female co-worker is not able to handle…
Don’t make equality into leaning towards women! And I feel this is the trend today. The feminist idea of equality has nothing to do with being equal really anymore. In fact it is quite the opposite. It swings to the other extreme and men (and women who don’t really think like a hard core feminist) get pushed back.
Equality: The state of being equal in status, rights or opportunities…
No how about equality in case of a divorce? In case of who will be in charge of the kids? So often the mom gets the kids just because she is the mom and the guy… well, the guy might be allowed to see them but the only real right he has there is to pay for all of them… Is this still conform to our life nowadays? I understand, that years ago, when the man was working and the mom was staying home with the kids it was the way to go. As the relationship between the mom and the kids might have been different and would have been the one with the income… But today?
Gosh, I could go on and on…
I feel pressure. Pressure as a woman to have to follow this trend. A trend I don’t like and I don’t agree with. I once thought, that the olden days feminists wanted women to finally be able to think freely, act freely, do what they want to and when they want to do it. And of course have the same rights.
But what did it turn into? In quite the opposite.
“You are a SAHM? You cook and clean, no cleaner? Controlling husband… or maybe just a submissive person…” I often feel other women (who don’t know me well) think like that. Not that it does anything to me, but it makes me think.
What about the fact, that I like to do what I do (or what I am not doing)? What if I like to be the housewife and the mother, the cleaner and cook in our home? What if this suits me just fine. What if I happily turn down a great job offer, because I rather spend the time with my kids? It is my decision, my choice. Something that makes me happy.
I hear so often that it is hard to find a gentlemen nowadays. Surprising? I am not sure… Why? Well just think about this:
A guy holding the door open for you. In the name of today’s feminism he would probably be told off for suspecting, that the woman can not do that on her own…
A guy pulling the chair back for a woman at a restaurant. Well he would probably be told off for trying to make her look stupid in front of all the other diners.
A guy taking his coat off because she is cold. What on earth would make him think that she can not handle cold?
And we complain that the true gentlemen are disappearing. I think, ladies, we just make it bloody hard on them! Men must really feel confused. At least I would.
Although we gained a lot thanks to all of the three waves of feminism (something I am thankful for, please get me right), I feel it is time to assess the situation and really think about what we want.
It feels like everyone has to jump into the same boat and scream: We want more!
In doing so we kind of rob ourselves of a lot of privileges too. I don’t want to explain to men that I actually appreciate being treated nicely and “like a lady”. I appreciate it, if a guy (my husband or my son) opens a door for me (and my daughter), I appreciate it when they open and close the car door for me, when they pull back my chair in a restaurant. It makes you feel special. And why should you not feel special, why should you not enjoy being special?
I want my daughter to experience this too and I want her to know what a gentlemen is. And not just because her dad and her brother are gentlemen. I want my brother to grow up and treat women the way a gentlemen would treat them. And I don’t want him to get in trouble with a woman for acting like a gentlemen, just because she took feminism too far.
In our part of the world we do have it all. And how great is it, that we do have the freedom to choose what we want to do with it. So please, dear feminists, don’t take this away from us! It is okay to be liberated, but like with everything, it is important to know how far to take it.
Maybe someday we have to liberate us from the overly extreme idea of feminism… Who knows… I just feel it kind of gets pushed a bit too far by certain groups. And I do feel it is time to speak up, if you don’t agree with some of the extreme opinions.
Inspired by this post.