Attachment ParentingFeminismWorking Mama
When “Equal” Doesn't Mean “The Same”Wednesday, 17 February 2016
Have you ever caught yourself speaking and died a little inside?
I don't mean when your children have chewed on your final nerve, and you realise you have been making noises like Mariah Carey on full chat, while they give precisely zero fucks.
Just me? I'll be over here, drinking my too warm glass of wine, and self loathingly shovelling leftovers into my mouth, then.
No, I mean have you ever really stopped to listen to how you interact with your children?
We were on the beach last night when I noticed a young couple sitting nearby sporting a look that I can only describe as a slightly bemused, with a hint of smug. You know what I mean, that look that childless people give the parents of young children that says “you children are adorable, but we can spend our disposable cash on expensive restaurants, talk about in depth issues and have exciting and unusual sex any time we want”.
And when I stopped to think about it, I could totally understand their point; not about the disposable income, that is a distant memory, but about the smugness of being able to have a logical and reasoned conversation, rather than ...
“Who the hell is Big Bad Barry? And why is he coming?!? … Thank you darling, a handful of gravel is just what I wanted for my birthday ...Would you put that stick DOWN please, your sister does not want you to “shyung” her any more!”
Which is basically the way in which I emote in the general direction of the children on most evenings.
I ask all of this because of a few things I have seen appear on my various feeds over the last week or so.
First there was the video of non feminist which so entirely misses the point of feminism, it took me a few views to realise that it wasn't a parody. Seriously, I was laughing along until my brain came to the screeching realisation that it wasn't a joke.
I'm not going to revisit this topic in detail, because other people have already explained it far better than I can, but the point of feminism, the whole bloody reason it exists as a “thing” is because we live in a world where men and women are not considered equal.
Feminism doesn't say that men don't have problems, feminism says that the playing field does not start off being level.
How is that something I even have to say in 2016?
My boredom with these sorts of trolls is exactly the reason I didn’t repost and rant about this video. But then, last night, Twitter introduced me to another gem, and if you have any lingering doubt as to why the world needs feminism; this is it.
Now don’t get me wrong, I'm not trying to blame a “chip wrapper” article for the state of the world today; take this as it is meant, which is as an example.
Just spend two minutes running through the article looking at the adjectives that are used.
So what, you may say, they are cute and adorable.
Perhaps, but one of those girls is also a yellow belt which, a quick Google search will tell you means she has learned and demonstrated around 17 separate moves. That takes discipline.
She and her counterpart are on the mats in front of an audience of their peers and parents. That takes bravery.
We could use those words instead, couldn't we?
We could choose to praise our children for the effort they put in, rather than their appearance.
We could teach our daughters that the iron in her soul is more important than the smile on her face.
We could teach our sons that size of his heart is more important than the weight he can lift.
And we could teach our children that whether they pee standing up or sitting down should not make the slightest difference to whether they earn a fair wage, or feel safe walking home, or have their words taken seriously.
Because in the end, this is where equality will succeed or fail: Not in the law books, but in the hearts and minds of everyday people.
And it will start with the words we speak.