Could the real feminist please stand up?

3 Apr

Last week I gave a lecture in marvellous Middelburg. Local women’s organisation Zeeuws Vrouwen Platform organised a symposium on women and financial independence. Afterwards, a lady from the audience approached me, asking me if she could ask me something. Of course she could. “Are you a real feminist?”
Hmm, what is a real feminist? According to the dictionary, someone who aims for equal rights for men and women. But with many people, the word feminist rings of men-hating women with hairy armpits and overalls.
Men I don’t hate. I prefer heels over overalls. But those equal rights, yes please. Better yesterday than today.
We outnumber men by 6 million. We produce over half of all food. We do two-thirds of all work. We go through monthly bleeding, give birth to kids. We live longer and smile more. And still, they call us the weaker sex?
When I was small, it surprised me how I was treated differently as a girl. I was not allowed to play ball with the boys on the square, cause I was a girl. Maybe that was the root of my feminism.
I’ve outgrown that square by now, but still I feel offside as a woman sometimes. It still surprises me that women in my country make 19% less than men. That we are underrrepresented in politics and business. Does that make me a real feminist?
According to British author Caitlin Moran, things aren’t as complicated. In her book “How to be a woman?” she describes the following feminist test. “Put your hand down your pants and ask yourself, 1. Do I have a vagina? And 2. Do I want to be in charge of it?” If the answer to both questions is yes, congratulations! You are a feminist!”

One Response to “Could the real feminist please stand up?”

  1. LW April 3, 2012 at 10:37 am #

    So now you got us curious about your armpits …. 😉
    Great definition!

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