… when I was a kid, I remember seeing my mum coming home from work looking exhausted, carrying bags of groceries into a kitchen that could use a tidy up, and complaining that she’d have to clean and cook after being at work all day, and that it wasn’t fair.
I remember sitting there and thinking, But that’s what you’re supposed to do. As a woman. You’re supposed to go to work and then take care of the house. You’re the one who’s supposed to do all the cleaning and all the cooking. Because you’re a woman.
I remember accepting that that was my fate, too.
Of course my dad wouldn’t cook. He was a man. His role was to go to work, and then come back home and fix a leaking sink or something. He was supposed to do manly stuff. My mother was supposed to do mum stuff.
Now that I’m in my 30s, I’m ashamed to admit I ever believed such a thing. Now, I am a feminist.
I’m enraged at the thought of women being “expected to work like they don’t have children, and raise children as if they didn’t work.” I’m furious that women still have to pick between a family and a career, and indignant that women’s rights are violated every day, everywhere, from the gender pay gap to not being allowed to drive, from domestic violence to female genital mutilation.
I’m tired of double standards. I’m tired of the fact that, no matter how hard they try (and why should you try, anyway?), women can never win.
Are you sure you want to eat that? I can see your bones, eat a burger.
You don’t want to have sex? You’re a prude. Oh you have a sex drive? What a slut.
You should stand up for yourself more. Wow, you’re so bossy.
I prefer girls clean-shaven. You’re too high maintenance.
That top is too revealing. You dress like a nun.
It’s your job to raise kids. Oh you’re a single mum? Shame on you.
Like historical Feminism, my rage also comes in waves.
I haven’t always been angry. I guess the first feminist book I read was The Bell Jar, when I was at uni in 2009. But I didn’t realise it was a feminist book at the time. Before then, I remember being 18 and driving in my best friend’s car with the windows…