Recently one of my closest friends told me she wasn’t a feminist. She kind of whispered it, breathed it out as if she was confessing to a crime. Which, in my eyes I guess she was. She told me that she thinks men are better than women. That women should be looked after by men and not work once they have had children. She said that men have the ‘best’ jobs because they deserve them and are the stronger sex. Women, in her opinion have their own roles to play; mother, lover, carer and we should be grateful for that and not fight for more.

Without meaning to sound dramatic, I nearly passed out. For a few minutes I thought I had somehow travelled back to the 50s or that she was joking, messing about because she knows how passionate I am about feminist issues. I hadn’t and she wasn’t. She told me that she was sorry but she couldn’t agree with my thoughts on marriage, gay rights, childcare, working conditions, media representations of women and the problems surrounding the sexualisation of young children. She said that women have a duty to be submissive to men, we should feel lucky that we have them in our lives and as a result should want to please them and keep them happy.

I felt winded, or like someone had smacked me round the face. I know that friends have different opinions and diversity is good for a relationship etc etc but this isn’t like disagreeing over a pair of shoes or what to watch on a Friday night. This feels more personal. Like we are spinning away from each other. Our core values are different – we expect different things from society and our vision of the future for women and other minority groups are too contrasting now, too fundamentally different for us to be able to find a common ground. Does that make sense?

I’m not really sure what to do now. We have been friends for years, she knows me inside out. She knows that I pretend my favourite films are arty and acceptable when in actual fact it’s Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion and she will always pick up if I ring her in the middle of the night. She is like my family and now it feels all messed up. I worry that when I have children she will judge me for my choices or that if I earn more than my boyfriend she will think it some hideous crime rather than a triumph and a fist in the face to patriarchy. I know that things will go back to normal soon but part of me wonders if they ever will. Being a feminist is something I am so proud of. I won’t ever stop fighting for equal rights or encouraging girls to stand up for themselves, be proud of who they are and say fuck it to society’s unrealistic expectations.

To be honest, I don’t know why a women wouldn’t be a feminist. I remember reading an article in Cosmo once with Ellie Goulding where she said she wasn’t and thinking what an idiot she was. She has a lot of power and here she is saying how crazy she gets around men and how she isn’t a feminist. Ridiculous. Being a feminist isn’t about getting a buzzcut, forgoing the wax and wearing dungarees. Admitting to it doesn’t make you a lesbian or a man hater. It means that you respect men and women, equally. It means that you think both sexes should be paid equally, should be treated equally. It means that you hate the objectification of women in the media – images of women bending over, posing seductively, nipples tweaked to a point, covered in oil. grinding on the floor, wearing dental floss on stage, dresses so tight they look sewn on, female singers feeling the need to dance round poles or touch themselves up whilst singing a song about how great they are in bed, female actresses feeling the need to starve themselves into a successful career. Feminism is about supporting both the sexes – it isn’t about burning bras, dr marten boots and bashing men at all.

As women we face prejudice everyday, from each other as well as society as a whole. We are the ones hit hardest by the budget cuts, the ones most likely to be victims of violence, domestic abuse and poverty. We are the ones slated for whatever choice we make regarding children and we are the ones to whom the majority of the childcare falls. We should be all sticking together.

Here is a round up of my favourite Post Secrets this week

and my favourite Dearoldloves:

I’m glad you’ve forgotten about me; I wish I could forget me.

‘I love you’ was on the tip of my tongue while ‘goodbye’ was on yours.

My future loves don’t stand a chance against my memories of you.

I hope you still find my origami hearts everywhere. And I hope they break yours.

Last night was the last night I will ever cry over you.

Does anyone have any new years resolutions? I always make some but then break them within days! They are always the same – eat better, find a hobby, etc etc so this year my resolution is to just carry on and do what I want. I am really happy with my life right now – my job is brilliant even if sometimes I feel a bit overlooked and unappreciated; my boyfriend is lovely and my family are amazing. I don’t need anything or have any massive worries. The M.E. is rubbish but with my new medication I am hoping it will be kept in check. Fingers crossed that this year will be fantastic!

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Category: Discussion, Feminism, My Thoughts
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  • Lauren

    What an incredible post (that goes for your previous post as well – definitely put a lump in my throat). I hope you manage to keep your friendship and it doesn’t change too much. Good luck with the new medication too, M.E is not nice at all, I feel your pain. x

    • em

      Thanks my dear for your lovely comment. I am glad my rambling is appreciated! M.E is a bit rubbish but never mind! I am making it a resolution to make more time for my friends even if it knocks me out a bit – I am tired whatever so might as well have some fun while I’m at it! xxx

  • I agree with you so much on this, I definitely consider myself a feminist and hate how people misinterpret that as something to be ashamed of so that many women these days would deny it for fear of being seen as a ridiculous man hater. I often find that my friends don’t feel this at all as strongly as I do so I can totally identify with you, all we want is equality and we should def all stick together!
    Thanks for writing this, have an amazing 2011!

    • em

      You too my love! Thank you for your lovely comment. I am a proud feminist and often read books on the tube or on the bus and the amount of crazy looks I get is insane! People are so afraid of the word – a real product of the media misrepresentation of feminism I think xxxx

  • Hi 🙂

    I’ve just come across your blog and I think it’s great, some very strong and well written posts. My art work at uni is currently based around themes of feminisim and it was really interesting to hear some modern day, normal person’s (as in not famous people’s) opinions on the subject.

    I look forward to reading more in the future!

    Clare x
    http://www.justartandstuff.blogspot.com