For the past three months I have submerged myself in the study of women's rights. I wanted to come to the table knowing more, to be able to tell YOU all more. That said, I know I have just skimmed the surface of the conversation.
I started my studies with **Emma Watsons suggestion for the book club @oursharedshelf , and NY Times Best Seller, 'How To Be A Woman' by Caitlin Moran. In this book, Caitlin writes about her journey navigating through the issues all woman face, and in that way it was universal. Also, her general wittiness had me LOLing throughout; that fact alone is a reason to read!
Here are a few excerpts that stood out to me:
pg. 75 - Because for all that people have tried to abuse it and disown it, "feminism" is still the word we need. No other word will do. And let's face it, there has been no other word, save "Girl Power". Personally, I don't think the word "feminist" on it's own is enough... After all, P. Diddy has had four different names, and he's just one man. I want to go all the way. I want to bring it back in conjunction with the word "strident". It looks hotter like that... Go, my strident feminist! You work that male/female dialectic dichotomy," I will shout at my friends in bars, while everyone nods at how edgy and real we are -- the word thrilling us as much as champagne, handbrake turns, and Helter Skelter.
pg. 82-83 - ...Guideline of all: BE POLITE... My politeness accepts your choice. You can be whatever you want -- so long as you're sure it's what you actually want, rather than one of two equally dodgy choices foisted on you. Because the purpose of feminism isn't to make a particular type of woman. The idea that there are inherently wrong and inherently right "types" of woman is what's screwed feminism for so long...What is feminism? Simply the belief that women should be as free as men, however nuts, dim, deluded, badly dressed, fat, receding, lazy, and smug as they might be. Are you feminist? Hahaha of course you are.
pg. 238 - We need more women who are allowed to prove their worth as people, rather than being assessed merely for their potential to create new people.
However, I did also find myself disagreeing with points here and there; which is to be expected when reading anyone's personal opinions on a topic based on their own life experiences. For example, the classic feminist belief that woman shouldn't be meant to wear bras (similar to the now trending #freethenipple movement that's sweeping the internet). While I don't whole-heartedly agree with these opinions, it points to the larger issue, and the real issue that's being addressed with the burning-of-bras movement: women should have the right to choose, freely and equally. Bottom line.
As I continue to dive into the diverse topics that face women in America and across the world, I've come to a conclusion: this is a BIG conversation. One that could potentially be overwhelming. So, I'm going to breakdown some stats and facts for you in my next blog(s) that I picked up from watching the 11 hour long United State of Women. Get a jump start on the conversation and watch for yourselves! I look forward to continuing to learn and explore this topic with you all.
This is a blog that I feel wildly undereducated to report on and yet deeply compelled to provide.
I recognize that there are not enough well known voices in our community that highlight the issues that may may people slightly uncomfortable. Which is silly because things like periods and access to affordable heath care sound to me like a baseline for womanhood and yet are topics that tend to be swept under the rug.
For whatever reason we as a society don't like to live outside of our comfort zone. Which is paradoxical because, as we know, this is the space that growth occurs in.
So, here I am using words that I don't say in conversation everyday, but know the power lies in the placement of them on my page. I implore you to cultivate your own power and educate yourself on the issues of the day. Man or woman, find something you are passionate about that has the power to affect positive world change.
**Emma Watson has taken the past year off just to learn about women's issues! Read all about it here. #BeTheChange