OK, so, a new subject! By the way, I haven’t forgotten that I haven’t finished Swim, Swimmy Swim, but I have one more series of swims to do this year, so I will postpone the end of that series of posts until I’ve done them. (No have I forgotten that I owe you some Great British Bake Off moist and crumbly goodness 😋). However, this next subject is one I’ve been mulling for a while, and I’ve avoided because it may be a little controversial, but it keeps coming to mind, so here we go. Yep, it’s the F-Word. Feminism.
Whilst mulling how to start on this subject, I was thinking about the sad fact that a lot of people, if you ask them, will start discussions on the topic with the words “I’m not a feminist but….” And this applies not just to unpleasant trolling commentators of the type who make rape threats against women who have the temerity to come out and openly say something incredibly radical like, oh, I dunno, that it might be a good idea to have perhaps one female amongst the four famous people on British banknotes (and yes, I do know the Queen is on all of them. Very droll), or that video games which feature female characters mainly as the subject of rape and murder may be characterised as a trifle misogynistic, or, alternatively, elderly solicitors who come from a public school background and have never entirely bought into the idea of political correctness, but actual women, many of them young and intelligent.
And then I considered the example of another ism, racism. No-one wants to be a racist (except racists, obviously, and even they don’t want to be called a racist, as evidenced by the number of racist comments that start off “I’mnotracistbut”). But there isn’t a word for “Not racist”. It’s just assumed that you don’t need to declare yourself a non-racist; it’s just what people should be. But in the case of feminism, it’s the other way round: if you want to plant a flag for gender equality, you have to positively claim it. The gender equality equivalent of racism is, I guess, misogynism, but whilst it is certainly around as a word, it hasn’t really gained currency as a term in the struggle for gender equality in the same way that feminism has. Interesting…