"In politics if you want anything said, ask a man. If you want anything done, ask a woman." - Margaret Thatcher.
As we all know today is Shrove Tuesday which means we are all going to indulge and eat shed loads of pancakes. But more importantly it is the 100th International Women's Day; it is a day of celebration and contemplation about the women who have greatly achieved politically, economically and socially. So, I have been thinking about the women who have inspired me and I would like to know which women have inspired you too!
Studying history at university has allowed me to research in to subjects that I am really not interested in but it has also let me read about important and influential women who have fought and written about our rights. When people read about women's activists and/or feminists, the majority are instantly put off; they think they're a group of bra burning, men hating fanatics - man, that was so 1960s! But in reality if you believe that women are entitled to rights then I would say you are a feminist, so in that case nearly everyone is a feminist. Apart from Ellie Goulding who claimed in Company magazine last year that she was not a feminist.
Women like Mary Wollstonecraft, Germaine Greer, Simone de Beauvoir and Frances Power Cobbe - to name a few - have all written about and fought for our rights in the past. Their views on women's right have been reinterpreted, sometimes misinterpreted, by so many; sometimes I think people can take ideas too literally and that is where some people get a negative attitude about feminism. One example is that in some of the really early works on feminism the authors have explained that too many women cared about their image for the sake of looking attractive for men. This has been taken too literally by women and they have interpreted it as you are not a feminist unless you stop caring about your image which is just silly because that is not what it means at all. It actually means that you should look attractive for your own purpose, not for the sake of men.
A lot of misinterpretations have come about when a person hasn't really made a connection with the actualities of past societies. I think for an individual to fully comprehend feminism and women's rights they should remember that society was rife with patriarchal hierarchies, gender relations, unfair double standards and 'separate spheres' - a completely different world to what we know and live in now! I understand that not everyone thinks that feminists can be anything but radical and some people simply don't have an opinion on it at all - that's cool because everyone has their own way of appreciating (or not) notions. Every affiliation has its own strands of radical but that does not mean that the whole group is.
Celebrate International Women's Day by taking one minute out of your day to think about which women or which woman has inspired you recently.
If you want to have your say about women.s equality then click here!
Also, please watch this video about International Women's Day - it features Danial Craig and Judi Dench.
JAMES BOND SUPPORTS INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY 2011.
or alternatively click here to watch it on YouTube.
This video is fantastic and you should watch it when you have got a spare minute. Using celebrities to market the importance of International Women's Day was a genius idea and I hope that is message reaches out to everybody.
I hope this blog has not offended any body, it was not my intention to do so, instead I hope it sheds some light on perceptions of feminism.
Have a great day, Natasha.