International Womens Day

March 8th 2015

For International Womens Day last year I wrote a story about 

A woman in a flower Pot’.

That woman was my mother.

In my story I describe how for most of our lives my mum has taken to her soap box to bang on about feminism and womens equal rights.

When we were younger (and sometimes even now) we would find it boring and switch off.

However as grown women my sisters and I cannot deny the feminism that has now been encoded into our DNA. Whether we like it or not our thoughts and behaviours are very much expressed in feminist ways.

With that said I had been pondering how important feminism is for the modern woman in 2015. 
Do we even care about it anymore? Should we care?

Call me naive but I honestly struggled to think how in my working career I had been discriminated or left out because I was a woman.

I am lucky to work in a fairly equal workplace. Although most of the senior positions are of course middle aged men.  However I do see change and the generations below certainly have more women in management positions. 
I work on a small team of 8 scientists. Five of which are female. Science thankfully has become more accessible to women. 

I asked this question ‘Can you identify any major challenges you have had to overcome to achieve as a woman in 2015.’  on my personal Facebook page in order to get a sense of where women were at in this present time of the 21st century

Tumbleweed………and crickets……………………….

Not many women were drawn to answer this question.

I think this in itself tells us something.

I believe for the majority of women these days feminism is not so important compared to say 30 or so years ago, when our mothers were at home with young children. The word ‘Feminism’  has been beaten down so much mostly by media that it is as if some women are afraid to admit they are a ‘feminist’.

It is true we have come a long way. Many women are now able to carve out successful careers for themselves while also juggling motherhood.

Therein lies the age old debate. We are still mothers. Of my friends who did respond to my Facebook question they all spoke about the work Vs motherhood juggle. Unfortunately because some of us work part time and we take time off to have babies we are held back in our careers as the men keep climbing higher. As a result we have unequal pay and less women in more powerful positions. What a waste of a valuable resource.

As for the women at home. They are not just sitting on their asses watching Daytime TV. Many are also working from home, building small business from home,  or even creating online writing careers from such things as the forever ridiculed ‘mummy blogging’! Even the women who do not have paid work are keeping themselves even busier by getting involved in organising playgroups or helping out at kindergartens. We are an extremely resourceful lot.

All the while we of course are still managing the responsibilities of growing our children and taking care of our homes.

Whether we want to work or whether we actually have to work for financial reasons does not matter. 
What we need is more recognition of the incredible resource that we actually are. Women are not given the promotions they deserve, nor the wage increases and don’t even get me started on adequate childcare! Why is childcare not an absolute priority in all workplaces it is completely insane that we should be punished because we have a family.

So what can we do about it.

We can start from the individual. Start with ourselves.

I only live with one grown male. Thank goodness! However I believe he is a typical male.

Most of the time he seems happy to just ‘be’. He doesn’t sit around critising himself. He doesn’t look in the mirror in the morning and say I look fat I need to change my top six times. He doesn’t stare at his growing wrinkles and beat himself up with how old he is getting. He just gets up gets dressed and goes to work. Therefore we need to believe in ourselves more. We need to realise our true value. We are amazing and we are worth it, every one of us.

Which brings me to my next point. Oh my goodness can we please stop critising each other as women!

The internet has become a cesspit of negative horrible judgmental insensitive almost sociopathic comments.

It scares me that so many people can think so little of another person. 

Please Stop and think. 
Everyone is different. They might put their baby to sleep differently, they might choose to work full time or they might not breastfeed.  Or they might not even want to have children at all. 

So fucking what ! 

We are all doing our own thing. Life is hard enough without having to worry about what everybody else is doing. Put yourself in someone else’s shoes. Realise there could be a back story as to why someone has chosen not to breastfeed or not to have kids or give their kids a crap dinner one night when they can hardly make it through the day.

Can we please lift each other up support and recognise our talents and skills as fellow women. 

We need more women in politics that much is blatantly obvious. In Australia only 2 out of 19 parliamentary ministers are women!!!. We need to vote our women in. Stop letting the male dinosaurs that are still stuck in the dark ages win every time. I can only imagine what these women have to put up with behind the scenes of Parliament House. I sense that politics is a cut throat environment. I feel that Julia Gillard was never given a proper chance. I mean she was slagged off in the media for having red hair and basically being a woman. Its disgusting. Of course the media moguls themselves are mostly all men !

It is community we need. Raising children especially sons to recognise women as equal. My 4 year old boy often says to me ‘that’s for girls’ or ‘you cant do that mummy you are a girl’. I have no idea where this is coming from. Thankfully his Dad is very pro feminist, but I believe it is beacuse kids from the age of zero are stereotyped. I tried to find EP a book today in the library that depicted girls as the superhero or main character in an adventure book. I struggled. I asked the childrens librarian. Apparently he gets asked the question all the time and is in the process with great difficulty of sourcing non princess books for girls. 

Thankfully there are many wonderful and supportive men out there who are intelligent and wise enough to recognise that we are a resource to be reckoned with. However as a community we need more supportive men that are willing to stand up against the grain. 

For me personally the most important point.  Is one I have already mentioned. Stop tearing each other down. We are all doing our best in the only way we know how. Think about how you would feel if someone came into your house and started to tell you that you were doing it all wrong. I think you would promptly kick them out with full force and then more than likely curl up into a ball and cry. 

Concentrate on your own small patch. Water it daily, weed it weekly sing to it hourly. The love will grow. Healthy green shoots will spread into the patch next door and to the patch next door to that. A forest will grow. The forest will have to be managed by the community equally, woman, man, child. We are all in this together.  

So for someone whom didn’t think I had anything feminist related to talk about I think my DNA has taken over. In fact I have written so much I don’t think I can share my main International Womens Day post with you. I want to keep it to stand alone in its wisdom.

I interviewed my mother. 

I will share her wonderful feminist responses on Tuesday so please do visit and show her some love.

Happy International Womens Day 2015

With Love from Me

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