5 things feminism has done for me

Scott from Progressive Bloggers asked me to write a list of 5 things feminism has done for me. For those of you who haven't read one of these lists yet, here's the background: Despite having a $13 billion surplus this year, the government has cut $5 million of funding to Status of Women Canada. In response, many Canadian bloggers have been posting lists of '5 things feminism has done for me', to show their support for the goals of the SWC.

Before I begin, I'll say that although I support women's rights and equality for all, I've never really considered myself a 'feminist'. I'm not quite sure why.. perhaps it's because today feminism almost seems to have become a dirty word. It seems like a lot of people associate feminists with radical man-haters, although that's certainly not a universal trait. But, while I may not agree with every stance of feminist groups, I value the changes that women's groups have made in our society, and many of those that they continue to lobby for.

5 Things Feminism Has Done For Me

1. It has made me realize, from a young age, that women can do anything.
Women can be politicians, scientists, astronauts and firefighters, and they can do their jobs as well as men. We need not be forced into predetermined gender stereotypes.

2. It has made me realize that while women can do anything, we don't have to do everything.
We can be anything we want, but we don't need to force ourselves to try to be superwomen. To me, feminism is about recognizing your options, and making the choices that work best for you. Someone who is a stay at home mom isn't necessarily less of a feminist than the CEO of a large company. We all advocate in our own, different ways.

3. It has made me expect to be judged on my merits, not only my looks.
Realistically, almost everyone is judged on their looks these days - men included. But I'm happy to see that most women no longer expect to get (or not get) a job because of the way they look. They expect employers to read their resume and evaluate their relevant skills. Thankfully, in many professions, employers do that.

4. It has made me proud to live in a society where I have the freedom to speak my mind, regardless of my gender.
I have the right to vote, debate in a public forum, enter politics, and challenge my husband or father if I think they're wrong. I need not keep quiet because of my gender.

5. It has shown me that while we like to think that we live in an equal society, we still have far to go, and must continue working.
The funding cuts to the Status of Women Canada are a big one here, but two big (personal) moments of enlightenment for me were firm interviews, and also hearing young, well educated male university classmates scoff at the idea of pay equity. We still have far to go to reach equality in practice, and in people's minds and hearts.

Wikipedia entry for feminism

Over at Progressive Bloggers, they're suggesting that everyone who writes a list should 'tag' 5 other (male or female) bloggers to see if they're willing to participate. I'd like to invite Apartment Girl, Vickyth, Becky, helmut, and Heather.

Thanks to Politics & Poetry for the link to Status Report.

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  1. I never thought of myself as a feminist either until I read "Where the Girls Are" by Susan Douglas. It's a good read, check it out, it may change your perspective.

  2. Looks interesting, I'll check it out! Thanks for the recommendation! :)

    Another book that's on my to-read list is: Packaging Girlhood : Rescuing Our Daughters From Marketers' Schemes by Sharon Lamb & Lyn Mikel Brown.

  3. This is a very, very good question. I'll have to givbe it some thought SkylarKD. Thanks for including me.