Wednesday, 22 July 2015

slight rant on feminism and sexism

It's crazy.
I write so many blog posts in my head, then the moment passes before I put pen to paper....or in this case, finger to iPad. So here is a car journey crafted piece en route to Strasburg.

Currently I'm investigating my feminist side. I've always thought of my self as one, but been positively terrified and put off by the scary, hairy armpitted, ladies telling me to cut my hair short and stop wearing dresses. If you too are in this boat, help is at hand!!! I have discovered 'hot feminist' by polly vernon. A modern, no 'pissing about' take on feminism, which is at the end of the day, standing up for sex equality. Not man bashing.

Mum used to describe me as a 'token bloke' because I often sided with men. I don't buy into this man hating and need to set aside all that is womanly to qualify as a proper femist.
Much of what Polly describes rings true with my own encounters with feminism, both good and bad. I too, love a good wolf whistle from a construction site, regularly check out women (and often tell them just how blooming fab they look) and I'm shallow.

I don't feel that in order to promote womanlyness we need to crush men. After all I bloody love men.

I love my brother. He is my no.1 in the world and fashion stylist. He can be brutal but always honest. I love my dad. For always being there with sound advise, for being such a bloody good doctor, for making the best Turkey curry at Christmas, and for taking the blame when I scraped the car......among other things. Some of the most important people in my life are men. Men rock! But people don't rock because they do or don't have that Y chromosome. They rock because of who they are and how they are, irrespective of what resides in their pants.

I do of course have very negative experiences of men, and of blatant sexism. One that bothers me at the moment, probably because I'm considering career paths, is my experience of surgery. I love being in theatre. I don't know why but I just do. I think, although I can't be certain, that if I hadn't had such a shit time in theatres over the last few years, that I would be going into a surgical specialty.
So what happened? I was constantly humiliated by surgeons, told I wasn't good enough, shamed, criticised, sworn at and shouted at. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not adverse to criticism if it is constructive or warranted. I'm not ok with being told I can't be a surgeon because I am a woman with small hands. It's nothing new and certainly nothing personal and I am not particularly sensitive. (In fact I have been described as 'spunky' by a consultant before. Shortly before being advised to change career and become an escort as I'd 'make more money'. I'm sure he didn't offer the same advise to my male placement partner.) that aside, how can I be expected to learn, progress and flourish in my career when constantly being put down and criticised. To not receive acknowledgement where it's due. No. That's not for me.
Realising I loved theatre but hated surgeons (generalising I know), I migrated to the much more friendly, coffee providing, question answering, education providing ANAESTHETISTS. They are more of the nicest branches of doctor you'll ever meet (in general).

One of my friends B recently declared she would be horrified if a man didn't pay for everything on a first date. I felt a bit put out by it. I mean, why should he have to? Why not just go halves?!!!! By all means I like a free dinner.....who doesn't? But to shun a perfectly good bloke on the basis of how the bill is settled baffled me. I can't really jump onto my high horse about it though because I do like it when men hold doors open for me, but I enjoy it just as much when a women holds it for me.....isn't it just polite? On a more sexist note though, I do like men to take the bins out. Not because I'm not capable of it, I most certainly am and this year my house has solely relied on the ladies of the house for this as we have had a rather useless specimen of the male race residing with us. But!! I would rather do all the washing up or clean the loo or pull the hair out of the shower drain than have to deal with the bins.

Feminism aside, I'm not often happy with myself. For various reasons. Polly discusses this at length and I agree with her. We just need to love ourselves a bit more and stop being so terribly judgemental in the toxically negative way. On a loo stop mid France, I sauntered into the petrol station (checking myself out in the glass on the way) and I loved it. I know my waist is no longer the slinky 24inches it used to be, but it's still small compared to my voluptuous bottom, billowing things and cracking rack. All the moaning of wanting to be thinner, the bitching with girl friends as to how much we hate our bodies. It's often a lot of bull shit we need to cut out. Yes my thighs rub together so much when I walk that jeans only last a year before a cheeky hole wears away over the thigh area. Yes in summer or hot countries I need to either wear long shorts, trousers, or invest in a good chaffing product because if I don't I'm left with crippling red sores on my inner eh?!
I do love curves. I love having larger than average boobs. Even if I struggle to find a sexy bra that doesn't cost the earth or hurt. I love my eyelashes and eye colour.
Overall when I stop, really look, and appreciate. It's not all that bad.
So why don't we all say it a bit more? I agree with polly on this one. We all feel the need to hate ourselves more than everyone else. We don't take compliments. We feel guilty when we check ourselves out.
Note to self. Stop! For the most part, most of the time, we look cracking!
I'm determined to stop self hating.