Again? Yup. It’s International Woman’s Day. Hardly seems 12 months since the last one… This year’s theme is ‘balance for better‘.
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Here’s what I’ve learned since the last one:
It’s all about privilege. This year I discovered the Guilty Feminist which is where another penny dropped. There’s so much still to do to make things equal for women, we tend to forget that things are even less equal for others. Women are in this with people of colour, our LGBTI chums, disabled folk, and everyone else who is disadvantaged for any other reason they didn’t choose.
Menopause might be a super-power. We need to re-think what we do – and feel – about this. If we say ‘balance is better’ how can it be balanced when at the exact time men are stepping up to the most powerful points of their lives women are trying to deal with a physical transition that brings shame as well as taboos. A universal experience yet we still hardly talk about it, until we’re trying to cope with our own symptoms. I wrote a story about it.
No, we aren’t there yet. Only recently, I was distracted from a useful and interesting training session by the training person joking about how it was his wife’s job to do caring and domestic tasks. Not a huge #metoo moment, but enough of a wrong note to matter.
Yes, we do have to think about everything. I have heard the view that ‘it’s gone so far’ that men ‘can’t make a joke’ and have to watch what they say all the time. Awwww, poor things. Of course, you bloody do. What you say reflects what you think, even if you’re joking. It wouldn’t be a joke if there wasn’t a belief to parody. This equality thing isn’t just a job for the gals (or anyone else who isn’t on top).
It’s an inside job too. It’s still a big and complicated thing. 110 years since the first Women’s Day and the to-do list remains huge. But it’s not just the patriarchy out there (word used because it’s a handy term for everything that’s wrong) that needs to change. My own beliefs and thoughts need challenging all the time – why do I do and say the things I do and would it or should it be different?