I’ve always known that women and men are different. Since I was a little girl I’ve always been aware that women face challenges that men, quite simply, do not. From the 6 year old who refused to wear dresses and hated the colour pink, to the ten year old who couldn’t understand why I couldn’t be the pope when I was older, to the fourteen year old who sat in a Physics class surrounded by boys who couldn’t tell their arse from their elbow; I knew being a woman was going to be harder. But I never knew being a woman was going to be like this.
As a young teenager, feminism made sense to me. “Why are most of the politicians men?” I often wondered aloud, to anyone who would listen. “Why are nearly all of the superheroes men?” “Why do so few girls want to do maths and physics?” “Why do all my friends want boyfriends?” “Why is it the mum that has to look after the kids whilst the dad gets to go to work and earn all the money?” The list was endless. But the solutions seemed so simple. All we had to do was get more girls interested in sports and science and to stop looking after their kids and all of a sudden the world would be righted. As. If.
Now that I’m slightly older I realise that the plight of feminism is nowhere near as straightforward as this. No number of female engineers, astronauts, CEOs Presidents or even Popes are going to level the playing field. Although the representation of women at the highest levels in the workplace is extremely important, it is nowhere near the solution to the sexist society we find ourselves in. In particular, as I’ve become more aware of the world of sex and relationships, I’m beginning to notice just how society works – almost relentlessly – against women. The world is far more complicated and more cruel than I could ever have known as a child. Which is maybe just as well. Sometimes I wish I could return to that innocence.
My head is becoming full with all the anger I have. So I’m using this blog to write down how I feel about whatever issue it is that I have on any given day. I don’t claim to be especially intelligent or articulate, or even a good feminist, but I do hope to gain a little bit of headspace.