As a woman and a human being I believe I deserve respect and I do not get involved with people who don’t treat me with respect. But it seems that everywhere I look now there are women being disrespected in horrible ways. There was Malala being shot in the head for speaking out in the belief that women deserve an education. There are Nigerian schoolgirls being kidnapped because they go to school. There are women being attacked and raped or having acid thrown on them in India for such crimes as refusing to marry someone that they don’t even like.
Now I don’t think for a moment that any of this is particularly new (unfortunately!) but perhaps because of the internet and the impact of social media on the global stage, I think these things are just being noticed more. And so they should be. A world where women face violence, harassment and persecution every day of their lives is not a world I am happy to live in. It is unacceptable that anyone, male or female, should be treated as if they were the dirt beneath someone’s feet. Everybody deserves to have their dignity respected. So don’t ignore any harassment that you receive or think that it doesn’t matter. It does matter because if you don’t speak out then people will think it is acceptable to mistreat you.
And don’t allow other to be bullied either. If you see someone being picked on, don’t do nothing. If you’re afraid to intervene, then go round the corner and call the police. But don’t just walk away. If we want this world to be better than it is today, then we have to make it that way.
I am always amazed when I hear a woman say “I’m not a feminist but…” I cannot understand why any woman would not be a feminist. Being a feminist doesn’t turn you into a dungaree wearing lentil eating lesbian, nor is being a lesbian anything to be ashamed of. But so many women seem frightened of admitting to being a feminist. Why?
To me, being a feminist is about being a man or a woman who believes that no-one should be discriminated against because of their gender. That’s all!
So I would like to say “Yes, I am a feminist and I am proud to be one. I consider it nothing to be ashamed of frightened of. It helps me to embrace my political, physical, mental, emotional and spiritual power and I can’t see anything wrong with that!
Yesterday I was in the supermarket and I saw this product which is labelled as shampoo for men. I instantly thought ‘do men really have different hair follicles or different dandruff from women or is this just a sales ploy?’ There has been a lot of fuss on the net recently about the Bic pens for girls, which is basically just a pink pen; I can understand with some things that men and women might need different things but for pens or shampoo? So in the interest of scientific experiment I have just gone upstairs to the bathroom and washed my hair in this men’s shampoo.
I shall let you know if my hair falls out or I start gazing lovingly at drill bits and hogging the remote control!
There is a movement in the Republican Right to ban the use of the word vagina and a woman has just been forbidden to speak in Congress because she said it on the floor of the House of Representatives. Ladies, this word belongs to us and not to men, least of all to those who think they have a right to tell us how to live, what to do with our own bodies or what words they can put in our mouths.
There is also a movement, which I am proud to be a part of, which seeks to reclaim our rights, our lives and our words. This is becoming known as the vagina movement. So I would ask all you ladies out there in cyberspace to tweet or post on Facebook or write a blog about the word ‘vagina’. This word is anatomically correct and so it is the right word to use.
The vagina represents the sacred feminine and in Native American Society women were sacred because they could give live through childbirth. In the Viking Runes one of the runes is read as the word ‘vagina’ and it represents mystery and the unknown. This word does not belong to bigots; this word belongs to beautiful and empowered women.