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Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Feminism, wrote a blog about it, wanna read it, here it goes

I have been thinking about this day for the past few weeks and have so much to say that I am unsure if it will all come out right or end up as goop.

International Women's Day
first came to my attention last year, on it's 99th anniversary. What female life had I been living that I was unaware of this day, this powerful movement, this obligation that I have as a woman and as a mother of two females to fight against the inequality over half the planet faces due to what is between their legs? This year, on the 100th anniversary of International Women's Day I am going to start educating myself on the equality that we as humans deserve, righting what injustices I can, and promoting feminism by it's most basic definition: equal rights for all.

Today, like most women, I have been working. My children were under the care of other women. While at work I received an e-mail asking for a notice to be placed in the community calendar section of the newspaper. It started with:
Dear Sir,
I would like to ask.....

At first I chuckled to myself and then I came to see the not so funny underlying message; this woman, for it was a woman who wrote the e-mail, assumed that the paper, an instrument of power and knowledge in the world, was controlled by men. I decided a reply was in order and fashioned the following:
Hi Anne,
I just wanted to make a comment on your mail. It was addressed : Dear Sir- There is not one man who works on the production of The Guysborough Journal. Just a friendly note on International Women's Day.
I hope your supper is a success.
Lois Ann Dort
production coordinator and writer

This is entirely true. There is not one man who works in our office. The graphic designer is a woman. The office admin/circulation manager is a woman. The accountant is a woman. The editor is a woman. The advertising manager is a woman. We women work together and put out a local paper every week. It is not a feminist paper, or a fashion rag; just an everyday community paper that happens to be staffed by women.

Tossing this in my brain this afternoon I started to feel that I had never really experienced the professional inequalities that are so often cited in feminist tracks. I have often worked for women; highly placed women in both the public and private sectors. But then again I took a look at our papers' masthead. The first name listed is that of a man. I have never met him, never talked to him and never had any e-mail contact with this person yet his name appears above all the subsequent female names; the names that produce the paper every week. He is the publisher, he is the money and is he the real power? I truly don't know.

There has been a plethora of International Women's Day posts on Facebook today and I want to share a few here that I found enlightening. The first is Daniel Craig's drag take on International Women's Day.The character he portrays is atrocious in terms of human equality but despite myself I have always loved James Bond. It's interesting to say the least to see this man take a stand for women.

Next up is TED. TED Women. This is a short but interesting discussion about the new feminism and I find it more inclusive than the feminism that I have encounter in women who are a generation older than me.

And now I am back to commenting on Facebook posts that I have read on this important day. The first made me cringe and the second gave me hope.

The first post was from a former student of mine who wrote: ALL TIX SOLD OUT! CYA TONITE BITCHES♥♥
This use of the word bitches in a joking/loving manner by young women drives me crazy. I can not accept whatever justification that might be made for calling one another this horrible derogatory word. In the past I have seen other women post, and ask others to re-post, a rant declaring themselves to be Bitches; declaring their strength and take no shit attitude. This isn't being a bitch; this is getting your due. This is what we should have. If you want it call yourself a feminist not a bitch. Women will not win anything by adopting these negative stereotypes.

The other post was a picture of five girls I know from our local High School. I am re-posting it here with permission.

In this picture I see so much potential. Women in nontraditional roles, women who feel free to be princesses, and women together as friends. I love this picture and all it represents. I could not be prouder of the young women at our school.

CBC Doc Zone aired a documentary called: The F word: who wants to be a feminist?
I do. And I hope everyone else does to.

And finally, I had a media moment today which I missed due to the fact that I was at work. Last week I sent an e-mail in to CBC Mainstreet asking them to play Sisters Are Doin' It For Themselves by Aretha Franklin and Annie Lennox for all the women out there, who like me, are doing it for themselves. I have always loved this song and cheesy as it may sound, it did give me the sense that I could do anything as a woman in this world. And what's more, it is a vision of feminism that does not exclude men. I am not a believer in the old women's lib phrase: a woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle. I like men. I have a lot of male friends. I don't feel I have to exclude them or bring them down to pull myself up. There is room in this world for equality for all not just one or the other sex.

There are still other things buzzing around in my head but I'll end this post by letting Aretha and Annie have the last word.

1 comment:

  1. OK Lois Ann
    That was a great post! What you do every day is such an inspiration in our community. Thank You!