I Don’t Really Think That’s Feminism

Brad and I were recently having a conversation and something was said in jest that lead me to tell Brad he’d better be careful since he’s married to a feminist. *Gasp* It’s a little dangerous to say that sometimes.

“What makes you call yourself a feminist?” Brad asked me.

My answer included some of this list of things that I believe:

  • Men and women should be equal
  • It shouldn’t be okay for people to catcall me on the street
  • Men and women should get paid the same amount for the same job and women shouldn’t be at a disadvantage in salary negotiations just because of gender
  • I shouldn’t have to check my assertiveness to avoid being seen as “bitchy” when a man would be seen as “confident”
  • Women shouldn’t have to pay more for the female version of products
  • The occupancy of my uterus shouldn’t be up for discussion
  • Women shouldn’t fear that wearing their engagement ring to an interview will make them less likely to be hired (due to either “that ring’s big, she clearly doesn’t need a job” or “she’ll probably get pregnant soon, we don’t want to deal with that”)
  • Rape victims shouldn’t be asked what they were wearing
  • Girls shouldn’t be discouraged from leadership or studying science and math

The list goes on. Gender bias and discrimination is so ingrained in our society that people don’t stop to think about it enough.

“I don’t really think that’s feminism,” Brad said. “That’s just how things should be.”

It’s sad that these views would classify me as feminist, but unfortunately it’s true. Many people think that my list of things I believe is already reality, but it’s not. Women haven’t even had the right to vote for all that long. It’s not until we all become “feminists” that these things will become how things should be.

Don’t worry, I’m not going to quit shaving my legs anytime soon… I’ll just use a men’s razor because it’s cheaper.

InternationalWomensDay-portraitI think it’s perfect that I was born on International Women’s Day and this year’s theme is gender parity. Don’t be made uncomfortable by strong women. Also, don’t be mean, it’s my birthday.

March Reads

The Dragon and the Cliff

As a person with diabetes, I have an intimate relationship with my numbers. I know what’s good, what’s bad and what number is better than another. These things can mean different things for me at different times and is thus extremely difficult to explain. This is possibly the best analogy of living with the numbers that I have ever read, hopefully it helps the numbers make more sense to my readers who don’t live with diabetes day in and day out.

Why is Marriage Portrayed So Negatively on TV?

I read this post about how marriages (and more specifically wives) are portrayed on TV and it reminded me of a comedy show that we attended while on (a cruise) vacation with Brad’s family the year before Brad and I were married. I didn’t laugh during the entire show and when we left, my dismay for the comedian was apparent. “You didn’t like the comedian?” I was asked. My response was, “That wasn’t funny at all, the whole show was him making cracks about his wife and ex-wife… and women in general. You can be funny without insulting half of your audience.”

I can find humor in daily life, in my marriage and in my husband without being insulted. Why do TV writers and comedians think that they can’t?

Eight Stories of Every Day Sexims as Told by Female Journalists

Someone shared this Buzz Feed story on Facebook and I was appalled by the stories but also a little frightened because I could relate to them. I may work in public relations (a predominantly female profession these days) but I work for a niche agency that serves primarily industrial clients marketing to tradespeople… which means my clients are in male-dominated fields and I’m relating with male-dominated audiences. I got asked  by a male engineer employed by my clients at a trade show if I found it difficult to be a woman working in that industry. I knew that I couldn’t answer that question honestly without sounding like a whiner (as a woman I’d be whining, if I were a man, I’d just be answering a question honestly), but I had witnessed moments before being asked that question men at the show openly oogling some of the few women who were there.

I often find myself wondering why our society hasn’t been able to get past the gender bias and start treating everyone like a person. Why is it that my husband gets asked “how’s work going?” as the first friendly question but I get asked about how things are with the house or with my cats (and depending on the person asking, whether I have children) before anyone bothers to ask me about my career?

Did you know that March is Women’s History Month?