Feminism: Empowering or Destabilising?

Dear Reader,

I read an article this week in which it was suggested that feminism hasn’t so much empowered women, but destabilised men. And by this I do not mean that patriarchy is no more – I simply mean that men no longer have a defined role, and this is unnerving them somewhat.

For years feminism has been a voice designed to promote equality and choice for all women. There is still a long way to go with regards to this, the gender pay gap for example is still ever present, but I do think that wires are getting crossed along the way.

I often see tweets and Facebook updates where people claim that because their husband is cooking the dinner and they are assembling flat pack furniture that they live in a non gender role specific house. And that this means they are winning at feminism.

And I have to disagree.

If feminism is fundamentally about choice then does it really matter who is cooking the dinner and changing the nappies? If a wife wants to embrace the role of dutiful spouse and genuinely gains pleasure from making sure her husband’s stomach is full and his shirts are crease free is that really an issue? If she is happy then who cares?

Men and women do seem to be losing their way as both sexes are expected to want and have it all. Men are expected to be the breadwinners and a whizz with the vacuum. Females mothers and high flying career women.  And the pressure and the judgements from trying to fit in with all of the implied and confusing roles is damaging us all.

My point being that it is ok to be a housewife and for the man to bring home the bacon. And it is equally OK to be a househusband and for your wife to be the breadwinner. Who cares? If a girl likes pink then let her like pink – just because you force blue down her throat it doesn’t make you a feminist and nor does it help anyone.

Why can’t we stop judging and focus what I think is the most important part – choice. I appreciate I am mainly talking about western societies here. This discussion would be far more pertinent if we were talking about other countries where women are suppressed and belittled.

There doesn’t need to be a total gender role reversal for feminists to make their point and maybe over time gender roles and feminism are becoming so intertwined they’ve lost their individual ways.

What works for you, in your home whether it be full of men or full of women or a mix of both, is what is important. Making each other happy and nurturing individuality is vital. The more we accept each other’s choices then the small steps towards the bigger picture will be reached.

Stop judging others for the choices they make, it’s their choice, and concentrate on making the right choices yourself.

 

Love, me x

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One thought on “Feminism: Empowering or Destabilising?”

  1. I agree with your points about choices and people can be judgemental and caught up in an “enforced” equality, trying very hard not to comply with gender norms. Also, I see that there is more flexibility for both sexes within the gender spectrum.
    BUT choice is a luxury, how much in our lives is real choice? If a woman stays at home because she chooses to, so be it, or does she stay at home because of inflexible labour markets and “male” jobs being better paid than “female” jobs? And vice versa, women or men who want to stay at home but can’t due to financial reasons.
    Are women sex workers out of choice or e.g. because this is the only way to support their families? This is an article about privilege omitting some vital, more profound structures.

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