When I was at uni I spent a fair amount of time studying various strands of feminism and since graduating I feel increasingly out of touch with any developments. I really need to keep up my reading on the subject, especially as I would describe myself as a feminist, which to me, is a point of pride.
Today is International Women's Day and may well be the kick I need to get back in to celebrating the women whose actions in the past have created a better future and celebrating my own womanhood. Today we should be remembering the huge impact that women's movements have had upon history, from Mary Wollstonecraft's A Vindication of the Rights of Women in 1792, the granting of equal voting rights in New Zealand in 1893 to the widespread use of the pill in the 1960s. On a personal level the achievement of women has meant that I am able to file for divorce, I can have an abortion and I can live with my boyfriend, or on my own. However, much is still to be done, it is important to remember that although in theory women have the same employment opportunities as men, in Britain women effectively start working for free from November and women will still get paid less than their male counterparts just because of their gender. I am completely in agreement with Cosmopoliton that the word 'Feminism' needs to not only be reclaimed but made relevant to 2012.
Be a proud feminist.
For too long the word 'feminist' has be associated with women who are unshaven, wearing dungarees and doc martins. Although I am hugely grateful for the work of radical feminists, and of every other feminist movement, I strongly believe women need to take back the word and make it relevant to women in 2012. I call myself a feminist and yet I spend hours doing my hair/make up/clothes and I like to spend time perving at Ryan Reynolds in rom coms. I believe you can have a vajazzle, you can wear your short skirts and have a long term boyfriend and be a feminist. As long as you appreciate the hard work of the women who came before you and as long as you won't sit and take the inequality which is still ingrained in society. Finally, love your body; embrace your sexuality, be proud and comfortable. If you want to wear high heels or short shorts because they make you feel sexy, do it. If you can't leave the house without make up on, do it because you want to feel your best, not because you worry what men/others will think.
Hit it Helen: