Wednesday, November 01, 2006

On feminism

Apartment Girl has tagged me to write my very own "Five Things that Feminism has Done for Me," in response to our delightful federal government's decision to cut $5M in funding from Status of Women Canada in the face of an estimated $13B surplus. *shakes head* I will preface this list by saying I know little about feminism, having only explored it as part of other theoretical classes, and never having taken women's studies. That said, here is my list.

1. Feminism made it okay to be single.

This may sound strange coming from someone who is engaged to be married, but it really is the number one thing that feminism has done for me. Because of increased women's rights and increased perception that women are as capable as men, it was okay for me to be single for a very long time, and it was okay that I was prepared to be single for the rest of my life if need be. Because of feminism, I was able to move out on my own before marriage, and didn't have to wait in my parents' basement for someone to come along and "take" me or "rescue" me. I also approached a life without partnership or marriage without the phrase "old maid" running around in my head, which was extremely liberating.

2. Feminism has made me responsible for myself.

Whatever mental crap I'm going through right now (and it is crap), I have no one to blame but myself. I can't come out and blame anyone else, because the responsibility for my own mental wellbeing rests firmly on my shoulders, where in the past, it wouldn't. On the flip side, I am able to make my own money, cultivate my own relationships, and have my own share of responsibilities. While some of these responsibilities are dealt with in partnership, the simple fact of the matter is that in years gone by, I would have had little to no say in how they were handled, and I would have not been out there with a job, cultivating some of those relationships, and other such facets that make me who I am today.

3. Feminism has given me the right to read.

Nuff said. Honestly, most of you have seen my library. I can't imagine life if I couldn't read, even just a little.

4. Feminism has given me the right to associate with men.

I look over my group of friends and acquaintances, and find that a good half or more of them are men. My life would be the poorer if I was unable to associate with all of these good people without a chaperone, for example, or only in a group setting under the watchful eye of many protectors. I am allowed to associate and have friendships with men without being labelled "whore" or "slut." This is extremely liberating.

5. Feminism has given me choice.

I am allowed to choose birth control. I am allowed to choose what I wear. I am allowed to choose what I read, what my job is, what my education is. I am allowed to choose how I spend my time, even if that choice puts me squarely into traditional feminine activities like knitting. I am allowed to choose to stand up for myself, and not put up with certain behaviours. When I was single, I was allowed to choose to ask a guy out, or refuse him if he asked me. I am allowed to choose my partner, my friends, and my enemies.

Not sure who I can tag who hasn't already been tagged, but there's the list. See the original page here. Cheers, all.


Queen of Swords

Okay, I'll tag some people: Jen, Steve, Sheila. :) No pressure!

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