Who runs the world? Not girls. Yet.
We can all learn a lot from Beyoncé (obviously). Not just how to be an absolute qween, but Beyoncé’s songs exist in a blissful bubble of female empowerment. No other singer has promoted equality more. With Women’s Equality Day being celebrated in the US right now. It has made us ponder what it is to be a woman in the UK today. We don’t have an official day to celebrate, but if we did, would we feel as though we could really celebrate equality?
We’re not going to get too heavy this morning, let’s face it, it’s Sunday and our heads can’t handle it either. Yes, we’ve come a long way since the women’s suffrage; when even after being allowed to vote, women were fired for being pregnant and couldn’t even have their own passport. But today, we still have pregnancy discrimination, domestic violence, and the gender pay gap to name but a few. One look at parliament square and you’ll see 11 statues of men and no women.
We can never get it right. Sleep with ‘too many’ guys and we’re a slag, speak up in a meeting and we’re the bitch in the boardroom. All the positive traits you see in successful men like competitiveness or assertiveness are seen as negative traits if we are any of these things at work. These stereotypes are engrained in all of us, even women. A single man over 40 is not a spinster with 10 cats, but a bachelor playboy.
The disparity between girls and boys starts at a young age, with girls in charge called bossy, and boys in charge called leaders. We’re conditioned with this sexism, which hardly gives us the best kick-start to our future does it? Equality has to be educated from a young age so boys and girls can grow as equals. The “cheer up loves” of the world still exist and newsflash: we like our resting bitch face thank you very much.
Women Are Rising
Despite all of this, women are rising. We’re speaking up and this time getting heard. More women are graduating from universities than men, increasing numbers of us are graduating in sciences, and that pay gap is getting smaller. 2018 looks to be a transformative year for women, what with the women’s march and the #MeToo movement putting fire in our bellies to address these things not as “women issues” but just plain and simple “human issues.”
The whole idea of women’s equality is for the greater good of society, not for women to prove a point. Millicent Fawcett said, “Justice and freedom for women are things worth securing not only for their own sakes but for civilization itself.”
We all know what’s going on and we’re not blaming men (entirely) and this isn’t about burning bras (bra’s are sacred). Men get a hard enough time, what with often being incapable or scared of talking about feelings, deprived of child custody and being three times more likely to commit suicide. Equality is just as much about this as it is about us.
One thing is clear, now’s the time to act, donate, march and launch campaigns. Let’s not wait around for equality to just happen.
Remember that oh so brilliant scene in ‘What Women Want’ when Mel Gibson has a bath, a wax and paints his nails? Well we wonder what it would really look like if a guy stepped into our shoes for a day?
Day In the Life of A Woman
You’re catcalled on the way in to work this morning. That would be a €750 fine in France and you visualise personally delivering that to their doorstep. Whilst you turn a blind eye, a girl pulls up in a car next to you and says, “You ok sis?” you smile and thank her, letting it all wash over you. #likeagirl
There’s a note on your desk calling you a slag. While John’s getting high fives in the corner for his weekend of sexual escapades. But hey, women have multiple orgasms.
You have a meeting with your male colleagues. According to stats you know they probably earn 22% more than you for doing the same job. As usual they fail to ask for your opinion. They don’t want to hear anything about your article on Saudi women now being allowed to drive. When you speak up, your idea is dismissed. You smile politely and then get asked if you’re on your period. “Yep, I’m ticking over nicely thanks” you think to yourself.
You’ve just found out that Ireland has overturned the abortion ban and you slightly well up. Not because you’re being an emotional girl, but because it’s another step towards equality.
You eat a slice of pizza with your favourite rocket salad, because it tastes so damn good and has zero to do with slimming.
Time for bed. You get a message from your friend reminding you how much you’re smashing it in life and you go to sleep proud to be a woman.
So here’s to all us girls’ crushing it around the world. Dua Lipa for empowering us with “new rules”, Priyanka Joshi for her breakthrough Alzheimer’s research at the age of just 29, and silence breaker Tarana Burke, to name but a few. Yes we’re still under-represented, but we sure are making headway. 40% of women now bring home more money than their husbands, so let’s continue to bring home that bacon.
If you’re looking for small ways to celebrate the day, here’s 10 ways to spend Women’s Equality day.