So… this is my first post on this blog. Or on any personal blog, for that matter. I’ve resisted having a blog up until this point, for fear of not having enough to say. More specifically, for fear of my witty, biting posts slowly descending into an unrelenting assault of identical faux-vintage images of what I’ve eaten that day (moussaka and many, MANY rice cakes, if you must know). No, I wasn’t going to waste time writing about food when I could be doing something far more important, like eating food.
And as much as I love food, and music, and fashion, and the many other frivolous things that fill my days, I already have outlets for airing my views on these. You see, I like to talk, and I like to ask questions. Lots of questions. I probably do have more questions than your average human. I actually noticed recently that my driving instructor has gone from inviting me to ‘ask all the questions you want’ to commenting, regularly, that I ‘ask way too many questions’. Quite the U-turn. (Little driving joke, there). What can I say? I feel like it’s in my nature to question things. Even if I am questioning whether I can drive into the yellow box, for the fifth time in an hour.
My boyfriend, friends, family and even work colleagues are good enough to humour my unending barrage of questions, garnering opinions on my new favourite album, biscuit or Peter Pan collar shirt. Sometimes they even talk back at me, and the sharing of opinions becomes satisfyingly two-way (although my boyfriend might struggle with the shirt). I therefore feel that my needs in these areas are being met.
So, why the blog?
Well, it occurred to me recently that a lot of the things I find myself questioning in life are innately linked to something I cannot discuss all that freely. The ‘f’ word. I don’t believe I have ever broached the subject of feminism with my parents, nor have I spun my swivel-chair around to interrupt the office chat about the X Factor with a quote from Germaine Greer. I don’t even feel entirely comfortable discussing feminism with my closest friends.
It’s by no means a new thing to say that feminism is a dirty word. Oftentimes (yeah, I’m bringing oftentimes back) I feel that the merits of Nick Griffin might prove a more tantalising and less controversial discussion topic for your average audience. But short of ‘he’s got quite thick hair’, I have little to say on the aforementioned subject, and a LOT to say about being a woman in this day and age. I’m no expert on feminism, by any means; I have a fairly basic knowledge of the various waves of the feminist movement. And although I am working on this, I don’t profess to know any more than your average person.
But that doesn’t mean I don’t have strong opinions on the various issues that impact upon a woman of this generation. In fact, I find it hard to comprehend how any woman could fail to question the ways in which they are treated by, and what is expected of them from, today’s society.
I feel extremely grateful to be part of a generation that – where I live, at least – is more accepting than ever; where women can vote (this isn’t another X Factor reference), civil partnerships abound, and to a certain extent, differences in gender, sexuality and ethnicity are tolerated, and even celebrated. However, you would have to have your head pretty firmly ostriched to not see that inequality still rears its ugly, thick-haired head now and then. In the casually sexist/racist/homophobic jokes bandied about the workplace, and in the preconceptions and stereotypes that still plague every minority group. It may no longer be of throw-yourself-under-a-horse proportions, but until men and women are 100% equal, I believe feminism is still a relevant and necessary cause, with many questions to be asked.
In this blog, I will be looking at my own experiences of being a woman of this generation, and addressing the questions that crop up along the way. Sure, there will be a focus on what could be described as feminist issues, but these are also issues that should be of interest to our entire generation. After all, at the very core of feminism is a simple questioning of what it is to be a woman.
So please join me on my little blogatory amble. I promise I’ll keep talk of Peter Pan collars to a minimum.