Is it just me or does everyone think feminism is not a dirty word?

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Is it just me or does everyone think feminism is not a dirty word?

Is it just me or does everyone think feminism is not a dirty word?

Today is International Women’s Day. I grew up in a house with a strong mother and a father that thought girls could do anything. But neither would have called themselves feminists.

As an adult, I reaped the rewards of the generations of feminists that fought for me.
At work, I have always felt supported by my lovely male bosses but I have never really pushed the glass ceiling. My lack of ambition lulled me into a false sense of security. At 50 I am finally annoyed by the rate of change in the world and I am ready to call myself a feminist.
I understand people who say they don’t want quotas, that we already have equality and affirmative action is unfair. I used to feel that way. But if we already have equality in this country then I guess we accept that women just aren’t as good as men.

As of June 2016, in Australia’s ASX 200 companies just 7.1 percent of board chairs were held by women. Of those 200 companies only 11 had a female CEO. Women are dramatically under-represented in parliament, Australia has the lowest percentage of female school principals in the OECD and while women make up 70% of the workforce in health we hold 35% of leadership positions.
This isn’t because women aren’t as good as men, it’s because we are not encouraged into leadership roles and we don’t have role models.

I don’t think men are against women I just think that when two candidates come before a boss, they feel more comfortable with the bloke. They think they understand his motivations, how he will react in certain situations, they assume he has a wife at home to pick up the slack with the kids and they might even imagine he would be a good bloke to have a beer with. So they pick him. I completely understand that impulse, I connect with women faster than with men too. But it makes gender ratios difficult to balance. It’s going to take affirmative action to fix it.

And on the subject of true feminism, I have stopped victim blaming too. I used to think girls shouldn’t walk alone at night or get drunk and go home with men they have just met. I am not saying they are smart choices, but the penalty shouldn’t be rape. Women don’t have to stay home or not drink to be respected. If two footballers held down a team mate after a night of drinking and raped him – people would be outraged, no one would say, well what was he doing in the hotel room late at night drinking? But that’s what we say when it happens to a woman. We need to stop doing that.

– Caroline x

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