On Monday I was excitedly telling my colleagues about my weekend at the All About Women festival when one of the female doctors asked me this question:
Can you be a feminine feminist?
I looked at her wondering if she was taking the piss out of me.
Turns out, it was a serious question.
Because she went on to add how she still would like to be feminine and cry and wear pretty things including the colour pink. I don’t think she registered the shocked look on my face as another colleague laughed and responded how in that case I probably couldn’t be a feminist as I was wearing a bright coral coloured top and skirt on the day.
Ignoring all the sarcastic remarks in my head, I patiently explained to her that as long as a person wanted equality between the two genders, they were feminists. Men or women. Masculine, feminine, androgynous. Anything.
I explained to her how I am a feminist and while I consider myself androgynous thanks to my upbringing, it doesn’t stop me from wearing nice clothes and jewellery or shaving my legs or wearing make-up. But at the same time, I love getting dirty and sweaty playing sport, being active, going bushwalking or exercising at the gym. I had to explain how women feminists can be extremely ‘girly’ if you want to put it that way and still fight for equality between the sexes. I explained to her that I cry too. Often. And I’m not ashamed of it. And I’m certain several other feminists cry too.
Being the lunch table, I didn’t get to have a full-on rant as I’d have liked to.
Sadly, I don’t think I got through to her.
Because even after my patient explanation, I got a comment about how men and women were still quite different. I told her I agree men and women are physically different. But then she said that well, men prefer action movies and women prefer romance and sappy movies. That took me to a whole different rant on how we are socialised in a certain way. By which time I think she was ready to switch off. So I eventually shut up.
People’s ignorance astounds me.
These comments coming from someone who is a doctor and considered to be well-educated and intelligent with you would assume, some level of critical thinking.
It scares me.
So tell me, if you are a feminist, have you come across people like this? What do you do???
Until next time,