Hello again from Home!
Am I a feminist? I don’t know.
To me, the word ‘feminism’ seems dated and yet there are plenty of places in the world where women lack basic human rights, where their voices are silenced, where abuse is not just tolerated but socially acceptable. So if the goal of feminism is to promote gender equality, then it is certainly needed as much now as it was in the 60’s.
Last night I passed a laughter-filled evening with the Nelson Ladeez – a group of female friends in and around the Nelson area. We try to arrange an all-female get together a few times a year, whether for a weekend, a night or just a few hours at dinner. We all look forward to our ‘girl time’, even if the planning process is always a tad…chaotic.
Why is it important to have time without men? Again, I don’t know.
But I have theories.
Girlie is not the word I would use to describe the vast majority of Kootenay women. But just because we are comfortable hefting a chainsaw and each have at least one “Oh my Cod, I almost died!” story from some epic adventure, doesn’t mean that we are men with breasts and good skincare regimes. We’re different, men and women. Equal, sure, but different.
Time with the girls feels like coming home from a formal party: you kick off those tight shoes, slip out of the dress you stuffed yourself into, put on your favourite pair of PJ’s, and flop down on the couch. Aaaaaaaaah!
No matter how much we love our other halves, and males in general, there’s a level of relaxation we feel in each other’s company that doesn’t exist when men are in the picture. Conversation topics range from the sublime to the silly, but there is a palpable sense that here you can speak freely and the others will just ‘get it’. Here there’s no need to apologize if you take forever to get to the point of the story. Here you can rant about co-workers, family, kids, spouses, etc, and no one thinks you’re bitchy. In fact, most times everyone else has a common rant. Some of the best comedy moments are rants, actually.
Talking is how women process ideas, how we make sense of our world and ourselves. Talking is how we connect and learn. It’s natural and it’s healthy. But what woman hasn’t heard a comment, a joke or a snide remark about how much we talk? And at the heart of those sentiments is the idea that female traits are less valuable than male traits…that we are not equal.
We have come a long way, baby, but maybe we still have a long way to go?
Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate the male way of interacting with the world. I relate well to men and, in general, I like the way they think and operate because it’s the way I usually think and operate. (A friend once called me a “guybrid” because of this). The older I get, however, the more I value the women in my life. The more I realize that the part of my guybrid self that is female needs time and space to let loose.
And, no, I am not talking about Sheba, that tart. (Though I notice she is starting to become more popular than me at every gathering I go to…hmmm).
I’m really lucky to have so many smart, funny, brave, nurturing and kick-ass women in my life. I thank you all for the gift of your friendship.
But am I a feminist? I don’t think so.
I’m an equalist.
Until next time, I hope this finds you healthy, happy & lovin’ life!