“Your feminism is brutal”, said an acquaintance recently.
It was after I’d suggested that all boys be trained in equality, feminism, and what it’s like to be a woman in a man’s world.
As usual, I was half-joking – but also thinking, as I said it, how sensible that might be.
Brutal was when I suggested, aged 12, that a girl should have the right to strip a boy who was sexist toward her, thereby embarrassing him like he’d tried to embarrass her.
I’m not sure whether I was joking on that occasion.
But, come on, I was only 12 years old!
Now aged 27, I would describer my feminism as “determined”.
Determined to succeed in my profession (the Law), determined to win out over the male sex when necessary, determined to expose men (I don’t mean physically, although ‘stripping sexist boys’ still appeals to me!).
Determination is something all women need – whether locked in a loveless marriage in Lahore or earning millions as a singer in Las Vegas.
As women, if we want to succeed in this world, we need enough push to always be near the front.
Even men can’t sit back and expect to be noticed, but they do have the advantage of their sex having been tried and tested in every field.
And found wanting!
But employers (who are usually men) still prefer to try the old rather than risk the new.
So yes it’s unfair, but whoever told you that life was fair?
And every success for us is another nail in the coffin of patriarchy, another link in the chain of sisterhood in the boardrooms and offices of the world.
And we’re winning for our daughters and granddaughters just as WE are able to compete with men (and earn equal pay) because of the work our mothers and grandmothers put in.
So back to my “brutality”. What if boys WERE trained in feminism? Haven’t WE been trained for long enough in ‘masculism’? On the men who’ve ‘discovered’ countries, ‘conquered’ mountains, and ‘explored’ regions supposedly for the first time?
It’s time we were taught about the women who had the strength to battle men to invent things and get to places fist. Probably while raising six children and cooking meals for their husbands!
And DETERMINATION was the reason they succeeeded.
Not brutality – that’s a male value.