Friday, October 6, 2006

Five things feminism has done for me

A few weeks back, my colleagues over at Progressive Bloggers challenged each other to write an entry in their respective blogs about what they think about feminism and five things the feminist movement has done for them. I have held back on writing my entry because this is something I've had to really think about ... but I'm ready now.

  • Feminism has made me a better person, generally speaking. Granted that I am rough around some edges and still need some work, but overall it has allowed me to take a look at the big long term picture about life in general; rather than the short term. In a world where short term gain is oftened favoured as politically expedient, this has been a major factor for me -- sometimes, positive changes will only occur over the long run and women more than men have that viewpoint.
  • It has had the pleasant result I have more female friends than male. I may be a tad too sensitive at times, but the fact I'm better able to empathize with the cause of women has helped m with my personal self-respect; and self respect is the first step to getting friends. A lot of men I know don't have that, which I don't understand.
  • It has convinced me that more than ever we need proportional representation. It's very interesting that in countries which have PR, women have much greater involvement in decision making. The fact we still have first past the post shows there are still a lot of people, mostly men, who think women should stay home and shut up. This is wrong.
  • It has also convinced me that working mothers and stay at home moms need equal treatment, under our tax policies. Parents shoudln't have to make the choice. They should get equal treatment -- and mothers shouldn't be fired for wanting to have children, which unfortunately still happens in the professional world and trades, and even the entertainment industry.
  • Finally, it has also proved to me the benefits of a day care program. I'm much better off now because I had early intervention in day care for learning disabilities I have, and while I still cope with them occasionally I am convinced I'd still be mostly dependent on the state if I didn't have nurturing day care workers and special education people -- all women, all feminists -- who kept ploughing at me until they broke through. Any man who had his hands on me would have made me a ward of the state; in those days they just didn't have the patience women do, and some men still don't. Today, women and sensitive men continue that fine tradition of day care, they help many parents who just need an extra assist (especially with special needs kids) and they themselves need support from higher powers -- even if it's as simple as means tested subsidies and regulation across the board. The fact the Conservatives oppose both of these is shameful.
There are many more, but these are the five that come to mind first.

Vote for this article at Progressive Bloggers.

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