Did I mention that I’m going to Blogfest? Yes? Well one of the sessions that caught my eye on the programme is titled : Can you be a ‘mummy-blogger’, and still be a feminist?
I hadn’t given much thought to feminism until fairly recently. As a child of the 80s I remember hearing something about womens’ struggle for equality, but it seemed like it had all already happened. Bras had been burnt, horses had been jumped under and the three most important people in the world (Margret Thatcher, the Queen and Madonna) were all women. Job done.
At work It was sometimes difficult to command respect, because I was young and female. I would dress older than I was and be sure to use my height to its full effect. But this never really held me back. It was only when I became a mother that I began to realise how far we still are, from where I thought we already were in the 80’s.
Mummy blogging is, unsurprisingly, mostly women writing about raising children. It often includes cooking, crafts, fashion and beauty. Basically, the little, everyday domestic worlds that some women have fought for decades to escape. You could argue that advertising a life of kids and cupcakes is totally letting down the sisterhood.
I disagree though. For me, now I’ve thought about it, feminism is about equality of choice. Its about being able to take up crochet or car mechanics, whatever your gender. Its about the contents of your pants being irrelevant to weather you want to be the prime earner or the prime carer in your household or if you choose to share both those roles. We don’t make women equal to men by stopping the girls doing anything girly. We are equal when we can choose to blog about baking, fashion or nuclear physics and we’re judged on the quality of our writing, not the gender of the writer.
That’s the world that I want for my daughters. One where they can stay home and bake with their kids or run a multimillion dollar industry. Where they don’t have to dress up as someone else to be taken seriously and where they can go out with their friends and have a proper good dance.
It’ll be interesting to see what the debate at Blogfest brings up, the speakers know a whole lot more about this than me and I’m aware that there is an enormous amount of feminist philosophy and politics that I am completely ignorant of. Perhaps I’ll even completely change my mind – isn’t that a
woman’s scientist’s prerogative?
PS – What do you think? Is all this twittering on about babies and bunting setting back the female cause?