Thursday, 31 May 2012

The Politics of Women

Been thinking about my mum a lot, more so in terms of loss. And I realise I need to stop…She is on a journey of change that is hard for her and hard for me, but still a journey that we will be on together. Our roles have changed and will continue to change, it’s part of the journey.

 My mum married very young, just 17 and by 19 she had my brother and me. She would constantly berate me and later, her eldest grandchild, about marrying too young and not too get pregnant. But she taught me a lot more than that and reading an etsy article about being a feminist and getting married, made me think about how we define ourselves politically.

The article missed the point about being a feminist and being married, concentrating on issues of name changing and is wanting a big dress a betrayal of feminism. My mum didn’t define herself as a feminist, she worked all her life, making needles and later as a nursing assistant; working at night so my dad could look after us, they spent a large part of their marriage passing like ships in the night. But I got to see a marriage where money was shared, resources pulled together, chores shared, including child care. Of course they argued, but they stayed together. They both taught me the value of education, thinking for yourself, speaking out and standing up for yourself. My dad used to teach me maths and encouraged me to read. My mother could barely read or write, she used to get me to write out cheques and any letters she needed. She still doggedly kept learning to read and went to college when she was 50. And when she learnt to read, she rattled through Jane Austen, Dickens and Hardy like an Oxford Don. Now that’s real feminism, never being held back, never giving up and never being defined by your gender, age or physical and mental capacities. Showing by example how to overcome barriers and mum and me are going to keep doing this.
A big thank you to all of you for reaching out and sharing your thoughts , advice and your experiences, it’s been so comforting.


Does loving cute stuff and twinkley  beads undo our feminist credentials? I think not, I bought these
And they reduced my mate to and incoherent, dribbling wreck in 0.03 seconds.

But we both know that twinkles have there place and it’s not on vampires, ever!

P.S More stuff

xx

4 comments:

  1. Awesome.
    Your girls are lucky to have such a mum as yourself.

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  2. what a dynamic well written post! i love your mom already!! and your dad too :)
    and what is this etsy article???

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  3. thanks for such an inspiring post... i needed some inspiration today.

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  4. I absolutely consider myself as feminist (always have done). I think whilst the definition of feminism constantly changes at its core it's about our freedom to make our own choices (whether these be about the clothes we wear, our job, who we choose to have a relationship with etc etc). I'm reading Caitlin Moran's 'How to be a Woman' at the moment which is both funny and interesting.

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