An example…

We’ll be posting comments from women we meet.  Here’s an example of the style we’re going to use. 

On Women and Feminism

Jessica: My feminism is about fighting the stereotype of what it means to be a woman.

So many aspects of life assume that the default position is male. Society says that male is normal, and female is something different. Well, I don’t want to hear about women’s news and I don’t want a computer or a car designed specially for women. Women are not this strange, other, alien race. Women are normal.

The statistical differences between men and women are insignificant compared to the differences between individuals. I would like to live in a world free of gender. No one except my doctor and my lover really needs to know whether I’m male or female.

Most of the time I don’t feel like a woman. I feel like an individual who happens to be female.

Michelle: To me, feminism is about freedom for women; freedom from having to live up to sexist stereotypes which tell us what a ‘woman’ is and does.

These stereotypes encourage women to conform to certain ideals and roles e.g. we are still expected to make more of our beauty than our brains and deemed to be more ‘natural’ at caring for others, and so mothers usually end up doing most of the childcare even if they also work outside of the home. We need to relieve women of these pressures, so we are free to be who we really are and to do what we really want. 

I also think it’s necessary for feminism to tackle the other ways in which women may experience discrimination, aside from that based on their sex and also arising, for example, from their race, class, ability, sexuality, religion, culture etc so as to achieve freedom from all discrimination for all women.

On Women and Politics

Jessica: There aren’t enough women in politics. It’s not because women aren’t good enough. It’s much more subtle than that. The political system has been the preserve of white, middle-class and aristocratic men for so long that it’s difficult for anyone else to be heard. We have some brilliant role-models, some pioneering women, but until the political stereotypes are consigned to history then we need to keep trying.

I’m not just interested in “women’s politics” about families and schools. That’s important, but so is foreign policy. So is economic policy. So is crime and tax and health and pensions and immigration and transport. Don’t assume that because I’m a woman I don’t think about those issues.

Michelle: Mainstream UK politics is still too white, male and middle-class and I can understand why a lot of people are apathetic towards politics, as despite what the three main party leaders say, there isn’t much hope of seeing real change from any of them.

And I think quite substantial change is needed within electoral politics to get more women involved and more policies which will benefit women. For example, the male-dominated culture of Parliament, with its jeering form of ‘debate’, and the fact it spends more money on fighting wars than on education, needs to change.  

But until then, I still think it’s important that women are politically engaged and use their vote. The political system has brought some gains for women’s rights over the past few decades, and the more we use our vote and voices the more profound our gains could be.

1 Response to “An example…”

  1. 1 saranga April 28, 2010 at 21:29

    Come to East Anglia and talk to me! I may have some contacts for you as well, but don’t want to leave info on a public website. send me an email if you’re interested.

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