Is Feminism REALLY an Issue? – My Thoughts
Recently, I have noticed a lot of stuff pop up in my social media news feed on the subject of feminism. As a female trying to make my own way in the world, it’s quite an interesting subject for me.
But here’s the thing…
I think that we as females are making the issue of feminism much bigger than what it actually is and in some cases, I believe that we are making it worse.
Now don’t get me wrong, I want equal rights just as much as the next bra-burning female and I am very grateful to all those women in history who have fought for my rights and for me to have the same opportunities as my male counterparts.
But let’s fast forward to the present day.
As a female, here in the UK, I do not feel as though I have been held back, paid less or prevented from doing anything based on my gender. My housemate is male and I feel as though I have the exact same opportunities in this country as he does.
Now, I need to stress in this country because I have no experience of what this is like in other parts of the world – and I am more than certain that there are many other places where women are not treated as equals. But for the sake of this blog post, I am referring to my own personal experiences here in the UK.
Here’s my issue.
As a female, I think that we are using the subject of feminism as an excuse, and therefore, blowing it up to make it a much bigger issue than what it actually is.
Kinda like making a mountain out of a molehill.
And in the process, we’re driving our own wedge in between the genders.
Your own worldview
My first initial thoughts on this subject came to me when I watched a video of Emma Watson, who is a huge advocate of the subject, giving a speech about gender equality. It was a great speech, but the following sentence really stood out to me.
“When at 15, my girlfriends started dropping out of their beloved sports teams because they didn’t want to appear muscley.”
My initial reaction to that sentence was that no one is telling them that they should quit playing any sport.
They still have the option and the choice. Isn’t that in itself equality?
If they want to play rugby, football, hockey, tennis or any other sport, they can play it. No one is stopping them. No one is saying, ‘oh, you’re 15 now, you are not allowed to play rugby anymore because you are female.’
A very good girlfriend of mine plays rugby and is part of a very successful local team. We still get our nails done together and we often talk about how her training is going and recent match results. She is not prevented from playing.
If you are thinking of quitting your favourite sports team in the fear of being perceived as muscley, then that is your worldview. It’s your interpretation on the matter.
If women do quit playing a sport for these reasons, then they themselves are driving a wedge into the gender gap.
You have the equal rights and opportunity to participate in whatever sport you want. If you want to play, then play.
You are responsible for your own wage packet
In the corporate world, if two people are hired for the same position at a company, one male and one female, and the male is gets paid more than the female, then, in my opinion, that is the female’s fault.
Allow me to explain.
If I was in that role and I was aware of a male counterpart doing the exact same job and getting paid more than me, and I felt as though I was just as valuable to the company (if not more), then I would be arranging a meeting to negotiate a higher wage packet.
I would speak to my next-in-line, my Senior Manager or Director, and I would emphasise the skills and value that I bring to the company.
That’s how business works!
If you do this and the company is not prepared to pay you the same, then you need to be prepared to leave that company and find another that is prepared to pay you what your skills are worth. If you are confident enough in your abilities, then this should not be a problem.
A company will pay you based on the value that you can bring. If you believe that you are providing the company with more value than what you are getting paid for, or a male counterpart is getting paid more when providing the same value, then that is on you.
On the flip side of the coin, there are females in roles that are getting paid more than males in similar roles, simply because they had the nouse to negotiate a better wage with their employer.
In the UK, you are not prevented from climbing the corporate ladder because you are a female. There are many females in the UK that hold very high and well-paid senior roles – we even have a female Prime Minister.
We need to drop the excuse of feminism holding us back in our career because the opportunity is there.
I’m going to be really hypocritical here.
One thing that I do have a little bit of a problem with is ‘female only’ things. A great example of this is female only business awards.
I am hypocritical because I have entered many female only business awards. The featured photograph for this post is from one of them (10 points if you can spot me).
But here’s my problem.
If someone created a business award ceremony that only men could enter, the world would lose its shit!
Seriously, the media would have a field day and strong-viewed feminists would be lining up to challenge the male only event. And yet, here we are creating female only business awards.
If we are not prepared to play in the male sector with the big boys, then how can we complain about gender equality in business when we are segregating ourselves in that sector.
Again, that’s hypocritical of me, but in my defence, I don’t feel as though I am undermined as an entrepreneur simply because I am female and I have also entered many awards alongside my male opponents.
Are we preventing the gap in gender equality from closing?
As females, are we over-highlighting the subject of feminism and have we started using it as an excuse?
Do we quit our favourite sports teams because we are female? Do we avoid climbing the corporate ladder because we believe it’s harder for our gender? Do we avoid competing with men because we feel inferior?
If the answer is yes to any of those questions, and you are also based in the UK, then shame on you.
I wholeheartedly believe that in this country we have the equal opportunities that previous generations fought so hard for. As a female, I have never been stopped or prevented from doing anything based on my gender.
If you are holding yourself back from doing something simply because you are female, then you are creating our own gender inequality and you are preventing the gap from closing.
You have the opportunity – take it!
I’d love to hear your opinion on this subject. Please post in the comments below and I’ll happily have a pleasant discussion and exchange of views.
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