Happy International Women’s Day for last week! I hope everyone enjoyed the day. Feminism and gender equality has been at the forefront of the media recently, and on 6 March there was a significant social gaffe by an Australian political party who chose to hold a Women’s Day luncheon at a men-only club (not sure who thought this would be a good idea!). I am more confused by the lack of insight into this decision than I am offended by it, however a lot of women were greatly put out by the fact that men-only clubs still exist. I personally have no problem with this, there are women-only gyms – we can’t have it both way ladies!
Women’s day led me to ponder the age-old question – what do women want? No, I am not talking about the Mel Gibson movie! Before I answer this question, I wish to state that I do not consider myself a feminist, I am a humanist (and if anything, I think dogs are much nicer than most people but that’s a topic for another day!). I am a little miffed with some feminists who chase down the golden chalice of gender equality. Men and women are not equal. We have different hormones, genes & chromosomes; we are (usually!) physically smaller and differ greatly in shape and strength to men. So to say that women can do any physically-based job the same as a male and deserve equal pay for doing so is both unrealistic and unfair, and I personally don’t expect that. I do expect, however, that where the playing field is level and physicality is not a factor, that women and men are treated as equals.
I can only speak for myself when I answer the question of what women want, because I can not and will not speak for any other woman, and that forms part of my answer! In my opinion, women want choice and the freedom to make their own decisions. That covers whether or not one marries, the gender of person they marry/date, whether or not one has children, whether or not one is a ‘career’ woman, or a ‘stay at home mum’ or any combination of these, and most importantly, not to be judged or ridiculed for their choices. I applaud feminists and the suffragettes for obtaining women the right to vote (an important choice) and legal rights, e.g. to own property in one’s own name when married, however I believe our fair sex has a long way to go in terms of supporting each other in our choices. I hope women everywhere make the best choice – to be more encouraging and supportive to everyone – men and women – whenever possible and raise others up rather than putting them down.