“…a political, cultural or economic movement aimed at establishing more rights and legal protection for women…” (an oversimplied Wikipedia description!)
It was a fantastic movement, establishing votes, reproductive rights, civil rights and so on. I think, however, that I am a post- feminist. The feminist movement was a brilliant thing up to the 1970’s. Yet, I am begining to slowly come to the conclusion that much of the recent advances in womens rights have actually had a counter-productive effect. For example, the extension of maternity benefits; whilst I have undoubtedly benefited from them and am very grateful for that, recent news reports seem to suggest that women of child-bearing years are now being subtly discriminated against when applying for jobs. This is a bad thing.
My mothers generation and those before her also felt that it was their right and duty as women to stay at home and look after children. They were not frowned upon for making this positive decision. I would argue that this has changed now and women are expected to put their children into some form of care and go back to their jobs. This is a bad thing.
I have been brought up to think that as a women, I am equal to any man. This is how I will bring my daughter up. However, this does not tally well within some cultures present in the UK today. This worries me, the first time I realised this was when a door was deliberately shut on me as I was coming through it at a place of work. I complained about this, it was clearly not a ‘you’re a woman, why should I hold it for you?’ circumstance. I was told that it was a cultural thing, not to worry, that’s just how it is.
These points alone make me wonder; is there a subtle shift in society that is actually making excuses to try to undo some of the feminist movements successes?
On the door thing; I was shocked and part of that was, not only because it was cultural, but also because I actually do expect people to hold the door open for me. Not because I am a woman but for the sake of manners. The male backlash against the feminist movement would argue that, as I have pushed for equality they should not need to open the door. I actually like a bit of old fashioned manners. And, whilst i’m at it I will be very happy if you give me your seat on the train.
What are your thoughts?