I Am A Teensy Bit Late For International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day – and any other International Day for that matter – normally passes me by without any bother, barely doing more than briefly impinging on my awareness.

However, this year I’ve had one very interesting conversation as a result of International Women’s Day with a female friend who has recently returned to work full-time at the ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) after having a child, as well as reading a beautifully written post on the subject by DoctorDi, freelance writer and new Mum.

I consider myself a feminist. And while I recognise that there is still no parity between women and men in the workplace and that this is unjust, I am also increasingly uncomfortably conscious that we will do ourselves no favours by simply insisting on being granted access to a life which doesn’t even make the men who currently dominate it happy. Or even healthy.

My main concern with feminism over the last 50 years has been its seeming insistence that we women need to be the same as men in order to have rights equal to theirs. I don’t want to be the same as a man – I am a woman not a man – but I do want equality. And that means equality for both women and men. Equal opportunities for women in the workplace should they so choose, and equal opportunities for men as homemakers if that is what they want. Or a mixture of both roles.

At the same time, I don’t wish to struggle up any greasy pole [now there’s a phallic pun if ever there was one] just to find my ‘success’ and self-worth measured in terms of the bullshit capitalist system, with value purely financial and the only rewards being monetary.

We know, as women, that there is more to success than money and that we have more to contribute to family and society than cash. We just need to identify and articulate what we achieve for society and value that properly, according it a full measure of respect even where its actual remuneration is pitiful.

And then we can stop apologising for taking maternity leave, for using emotional intelligence, for choosing not to have children, for deciding to be a home-maker, for paying another person to care for our children or clean our house, for all the things that nobody should have to apologise for or explain.

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7 Responses to I Am A Teensy Bit Late For International Women’s Day

  1. sledpress says:

    Bingo. International or any kind of Women’s Day is a farce if it doesn’t recognize the value of work and productivity — or of perspective and characteristics — traditionally brushed off as merely female.

    Heaven deliver me from those queen bees who are faux men in little power suits, and I say that as someone who competes with men for power racks.

    • Woo says:

      Absolutely. International Women’s Day often seems to be hijacked and consequently becomes irrelevant to me purely because everyone buys into the assumption that our goal must be to thrust our way to the top of the current patriarchal capitalist system. Whereas I know mine sure as hell isn’t. I want health and happiness rather than wealth and status.

  2. doctordi says:

    Hear bloody hear!

  3. You have put the whole thing so well. This post expresses for me why I have never really been a member of the “feminist” movement.

    Yes, I believe in equal opportunities for those who choose the “work work work” path, and all people should be paid equally for work that is the same. But at the same time, the option of staying home to care for the children, whether the father or the mother chooses this, and the value of creating a home for one’s family, has yet to be addressed by the feminists.

    • Woo says:

      Thanks hmh!

      Yes, some of my friends who have chosen to be stay-at-home parents and home-makers actually feel embarrassed and guilty when they are questioned by other women about what they do for a living – which is beyond ridiculous. If we should have learnt anything from so many centuries of having our choices restricted by a dominant patriarchal society, we should have learnt that everyone should have the freedom to choose – without the expectations of others limiting or dictating that choice.

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