(Reposted from my Facebook profile)
Despite it being something extremely close to my heart, I didn’t post about International womens day on the day, because this is also international womens month. Thing is, we shouldn’t just celebrate the achievements and aspirations of women on a single day or single month, we should do it all the time. I was very interested to see my facebook timeline have status’s pop up from people saying “happy international womens day” from people, who- whenever I have said anything even remotely feminist before – have turned the anti on me, saying conservatives can’t be feminists etc, yet, when the definition of a feminist is “the advocacy of women’s rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes.”, they are truly contradicting themselves. I often have the quote of Thatchers thrown at me “I owe nothing to womens lib,”, where I truly believe Thatcher was referring to the second “left-wing” wave of feminism, yet others fail to mention any of the following quotes:
– “In politics if you want anything said, ask a man. If you want anything done, ask a woman.”
– “I’ve got a woman’s ability to stick to a job and get on with it when everyone else walks off and leaves it.”
– “It may be the cock that crows, but it is the hen that lays the eggs.”
– “The woman’s mission is not to enhance the masculine spirit, but to express the feminine; hers is not to preserve a man-made world, but to create a human world by the infusion of the feminine element into all of its activities.”
– “The battle for women’s rights has been largely won.” ( At no point does Thatcher say that the battle for womens rights has been completely won).
I think it is worth remembering that these quotes all come from about 20 years ago, and the world is now a very VERY different place, more issues have come to the forefront of the public eye, yes many battles have been won, but there are still many to fight.
(Some of you might find my next statement a bit controversial…) I also believe that Thatcher WAS a feminist, but not the strand of feminism that everyone attributes to the left-wing, this a free-market, conservative feminism. This is a feminism that encourages women to aspire, to achieve through merit, with no quota in sight. Women are more than capable of achieving, there is no reason why they shouldn’t any less than a man.
A woman should be free to reach her potential and aspirations, free of sexism and misogyny, free of sexual harassment and assault, free to own her own body and its rights. A woman should be free to be whatever she wants to be.
For me – this is freedom and liberty. And this is my feminism.