During the nineties, my grungy hippy style suited my views on feminism. Women of Ireland had fought for my rights to equal work and educational opportunities and I was going to make the most of it. And I did. Travel, education, work, I was participating, for the most as an equal citizen of the country as was my right.
Somewhere between then and marrying, I took it for granted. Feminism itself had lost it’s way, seemed somewhat redundant in a first world where sisters were doing for themselves. Feminism in a way had been pushed to the margins, and was no longer as recognizable as when it was out there forging through prejudices, knocking back sterotypes. Somewhere, along the way, feminism itself got a bad reputation, donned the same grungy and outdated clothing and muttered away to herself in the margins like the mad radical she was thought to be.
I sit here, amongst all these men, big and little wondering what I’ll do on International Women’s Day for myself to celebrate women? Bake bread for my boys? Wash muck from their jeans? Make my husbands dinner? And I smile. In a conservative and traditional profession as farming it would be easy to assume traditional roles. In a you Tarzan, me Jane kind of way. From the outside, I’m sure that’s how it seems. The difference is I choose this. I choose and have the privilege as my boys are very young to be the housewife, the stay at home mother in a way that suits our household, our family. The day maybe not so far away that I’ll have to don a public face and work away from them but for now, I’m here.
For that is what feminism is is it not? The freedom to achieve political, educational, cultural and personal equality for us all? And so, for today, I’m dressing up my inner feminist, putting on a bit of lippy and dancing her around the kitchen whilst I make the dinner for these boys of mine. She could do with a bit of fun this feminist self, told how she doesn’t have to dress, act or be a certain way in order to be a worthy role model of what a woman should be to impressionable young boys. Showing the men in my life in the absence of other females, how fabulous a woman can be. I’m a lucky girl.
Happy International Women’s Day.