I am a woman in 2016. I am scared to walk alone at night, because I don’t know who or what will try and violate me- verbally or physically. I am proud to exclaim ‘girl power’ in the office because the admin girls get shit done. I’m ashamed of my cleavage when a new dress droops down more than I thought. I am uncomfortable when people stare at the ladders in my tights from a faulty desk at work. I am fiercely proud of my heritage and the cultural understanding it helps me promote.
Men, the poor souls. They have to put up with so much, they get told so many things- how to act, what to wear, how (not) to pick up women, changing gender roles where their masculinity and power is being taken away from them, with nothing to replace it. We talk about women shattering glass ceilings, but maybe we should be careful of the men falling from said ceilings? We need to catch them too. And what about working daddies? The latte papas? They need space and time to grow into their new roles co-parenting, but society keeps implying that they aren’t allowed, because while traditional female roles are evolving, the male roles feels stale and stagnant.
Ok, now that men feel good about a feminist having fought for their cause, let’s get down to the touchy feely woman-y stuff. There are so many different issues in the fight for equality, oftentimes, it’s hard to know where to look or what to fight for. I’m coloured, but I’m not, because even though I have small eyes and brown skin, I am curvy AF and hold a very powerful burgundy passport. I am not living up to my full working potential because of my gender, but also because of the current political and economic climates that have clashed to create an uncertainty that not even men can really comprehend or survive. I am sick of men on Tinder just saying ‘boobs’ and expecting me to reply in the positive. I dress nice and put on make-up because I like the power it gives me, not because I’m looking to impress everyone on the street with my great fashion sense. And yet, I do wear cute clothes to work because as a temporary receptionist you’re expected to just smile and look pretty, and that is a lot that I advertently, and inadvertently, choose to accept.
And don’t get me started on marriage. Everyone wants you to get married and have babies and you know what? Having a boyfriend is lovely. It really is. Someone to make you tea and share in the household work. Someone to complain to and take your anger out on, and most importantly, to cuddle you in bed. But it doesn’t mean anything if you can’t do those things for yourself, first. I am a woman and I’m learning to be independent. I can travel the world and go anywhere, and yet, if I can’t stay home alone on a Sunday without seeing anyone, then who am I, really? I put that pressure on myself and I over-analyse and suddenly I’m no one, I’ve made myself feel yae big. But then I cook an excellent meal for one and I’m a bit more human.
It’s the little things. It’s what we let ourselves do, it’s the flaws that we accept. Yes, I really hate mopping. I’ll hoover, I’ll sweep, but it’ll take a lot to get a mop out. But maybe that’s okay. I should give myself a break, I should give myself more breaks. That’s when I turn on the TV and see the beautiful woman who has it all and always has her legs perfectly shaved (OK this problem doesn’t apply to me, Eurasian genes) and suddenly I’m back to struggling with my feelings of inadequacy and self-doubt again. It has been a while since I shaved my legs. I should probably hop in the shower now and shave them. Or you know what, to hell with it. Not only is no one going to notice, but the biggest reason is: I CAN’T BE BOTHERED.