Tatty jeans, comfy boots and an old sweater. Trips to the tip, filling a skip and purchasing a second-hand toolbox are how I spent my International Women’s Day. It wasn’t deliberate but I couldn’t help but think about the irony.
I’m a feminist in the sense that I believe that women are as equal to men and are capable of doing the same jobs that are traditional male orientated jobs if they so wish. It doesn’t mean I want to do them all. I have no desire to be a car-mechanic or any other male orientated role but there are women that do and it doesn’t make them less of a woman. I’m very feminine, very girly in many ways, I love shoes, handbags, getting my nails done but… when it comes down to it I can roll my sleeves up with the best of them and this is how many women are. Vice versa to this it’s a good point to remember that men are capable of the traditional female roles and they can enjoy them. However, many struggle to admit to this if they are in negative environments.
It was for this reason that I enjoyed the inspiring day. Reading stories that swarmed the internet. Amazing stories about ladies that have paved the road for women and proved that they are capable of great challenges. JK Rowling, Mother Theresa, Princess Diana – just to name a few. But yesterday I woke up wondering whether the hype would be limited to just that day and then for the rest of the year we forget until the next International Women’s day. I thought what a shame this would be. The day has proved successful but it would be wonderful to remember that each day over the coming years gives little steps in empowering women just as much as what has been achieved so far. Gender inequality has not diminished overnight but it has and is moving in the right direction.
It was therefore a sense of delight when I read an article on the internet regarding Emma Watson yesterday. Her speech on gender equality that she delivered to the United Nations was nothing short of tremendous, chirping up exactly the points that many of us feel and have enabled us to therefore express better. For a woman of such beauty and youthful looks and at the age of 24, her points came across more dramatic. An actress with a career in front of her and she is able to compete with many of the other actresses who use their sexuality for their careers and financial gain. Here we have a young woman who has spoken up about being raised by a single mother who instilled into her about using her brain over her looks. She is somebody that our daughters should look up to and it would be wonderful to see more young women like her. Self-images would be so much healthier than those created by the absorbed body image magazines that overload our shop shelves.
It was also interesting to read how shortly after her speech was delivered that internet trolls were using this as the perfect opportunity to show naked pictures of herself – that didn’t exist! It made me think about how humans use tactics like this in all areas of society. It’s a thrill for many to try to tarnish a reputation. Her point about how many of her critics have been women is also something that made me think. It made me think more after reading the Queen of pop Madonna say that she has mostly been criticised by women too. Clearly Madonna and Emma Watson are different characters. But I am a big fan of both. Purely for the fact that they stand up for what they believe. Madonna is proving that age has no boundaries – and this is a great movement for women who are seen as invisible as they reach a certain age. Emma Watson for proving that beautiful doesn’t have to be the only trait of a young lady. I admire them both greatly. I think it’s time that women looked at these two strong ladies and stood together. As Emma Watson delivered in her speech. It’s not a competition ladies… it’s standing together.