The citizens of the world have judged one another since the dawn of time – intolerance, extremism and disillusion isn’t new. Us millennials (ha! i’m so categorising myself here even tho I am at least 10 years past that grouping!) are more tolerant of others, we open up more, we don’t view people by their physical limitations, their gender binaries or their religious beliefs, its just not what people in my world do but that doesn’t mean its not out there.
Hate Preaching comes in many forms from religion to sexual orientations and recently I watched a documentary on US Preachers who are against homosexuality. Naturally I wanted to share my views on this with one main question How can preaching hate ever bring about harmony?
I think I can safely say I’ve been a feminist for all of my life I just didn’t realise that was what it was called until recent years.
Blessed with two very supportive parents I have always been encouraged to follow my dreams, try whatever I wanted and be whoever I wanted to be. I guess I was lucky as a child. My gender never came in to my life decisions and there has never been any ‘expectations’ placed upon me from the person I am. Its for this reason that made me so passionate about other women being held back or controlled and so vehemently against the oppression of others.
To me feminism is the striving for every woman to have every opportunity. For me opportunity should be earned on merit and all successes equally celebrated and if you are genuinely good enough, I don’t think ones gender should be a limitation or indeed a factor at all. I see Gender Equality and Feminism in a very similar light. I don’t think men should be judged by their gender before any other attribu
te in the same way that not all builders are men and not all secretaries are women.
I like to think that my generation sees the world a little more ‘gender-less’ we don’t see these things first as a precursor for our opinions. I don’t look at someone and see their sex as a determiner as to my expectations.
Equal access to education choices, equal job prospects, equal pay. Things are shit for women but we have come a long way, we tend to get the worse end of deal in many respects but change is coming about. I’ve been lucky but I’ve been unappolgetically hard working. I think that every girl born shouldn’t have to fight her way to a level playing field.
I guess really feminism to me means giving everyone the equal access to opportunities I had and helping people to raise their confidence to grasp them when they arise.
Being the over prepared, slightly obsessive type when it comes to having my wits about me and being a generally feisty young woman I tend to jump in first and ask on the way down. I don’t believe this to be a bad thing. Last night whilst attempting to fill up at the petrol station I was approached by a man who was intimidating, unnerving and far too close for comfort there were others there but nobody stepped in to help. Today I wanted to talk about my reasons for reporting it, why I waited nearly 12 hrs to do so and why I was pretty disgusted in the reactions of others and myself at the time, hind sight being the wonderful thing that it is.
The news this week has been dominated with stories of ‘the pink tax’ how cruel, unfair and downright overpriced female targeted products are but where is it going to stop? The tampon tax set by Europe means that a 5% tax on sanitary products is charged. It has been the case since the 1970s but its only been shouted about recently. Taxes are charged to ‘luxury’ items. Periods are by no means a luxury for women; it’s a biological happening that is genuinely unavoidable. The UK now gives its tax gains from feminine hygiene products to female charities which I am all for. I am also a firm believer that if this story had been the one spun to the press nobody would have opposed it let alone protest about it. A headline of “Every product you buy helps someone else” is much better than “The Tampon Tax”. It’s a similar set up to being charged for a carrier bag. The money goes to charity but that doesn’t make the front page.
But it’s not just about taxation on daily necessities. The news this week has decided to talk about ‘rip-off practices’, the same products aimed at men and women are substantially more expensive with a pink label. Retailers are being called to parliament to explain the price difference but I can tell you right now why the do it. We are stupid enough to let them. Watch the video of the ‘Beauty Patch’. Women will buy anything. Which i think is quiet sad. All of these women are beautiful but think that wearing a placebo patch on their arm will make them ‘beautiful’. There is nothing in the patch. Beauty is a state of mind!
Boots have now admitted their pricing is gender-squed after research looked into women razors and eye creams. Research by The Times discovered disparities across hundreds of gender-specific items, including toys, clothes and beauty products. Those marketed at women were priced on average 37 per cent higher.
The body lotion in your bathroom doesn’t know if a man or a woman is going to be using it. The shampoo in the shower doesn’t know the different between a mans hair and a women’s. These stores are seeing the gap in the market of merchandising, fuelled by the beauty industry telling us our hair is frizzy, our face shouldn’t be wrinkled, we need aloe vera soaked blades on our razors. It’s all nonsense. Gender-neutral products don’t sell. Do you know why? Because they have plain packaging. Now I’m not talking about cheaper alternatives, I’m talking about gendered alternative. I do believe that you get what you pay for, I’ve tried cheap and I’ve tried high-end and middle of the range. I know what I’d rather be putting on my face. But the needs of products are genderless, there doesn’t need to be female razor for smooth legs when there are male razors for smooth chins. There is no need for it to be gendered. The only difference in ‘King of Shaves’ range is the price relating to the colour of the stick. The blades fit both, the shape, design and grip of the razor is identical barring the pink or black plastic and the price tag. Oh and in line with the ‘Tampon Tax’ as earlier mentioned, razors have a 20% tax on them. Which one could argue women are being taxed for having a uterus and taxed for having hair, of which the media demonises. Us women really are getting a rough deal!
We are moving into a de-gendered society, slowly, as Ms. Miller stated in a comment to the Telegraph but issues like this are often overlooked when discussing gender equality. Lets take it one step further, women are paid on average 25% less than men, yet products aimed at women come in at nearly twice the price. I don’t believe the comments of ‘additional’ or different ‘performance’ features. We are told we need them so we buy them.
A worthy note and beauty tip for the ladies, you don’t need to only use products marketed for women. For example men’s deodorants come in stronger strengths and my super tip of the day; men’s aftershave balm is a fantastic make up primer as it smooths and soothes skin as well as closes pores. Boom! Bet ya didn’t know that! Ok so you probably did.
Who really is to blame? The manufactures? The Brands? The magazines? Or the people buying them?
In homage to International Women’s Day last weekend the news this week tied in quite nicely. In the news this week it seems that only 4% of Dutch managers are female. According to The UK’s Chartered Management Institute a gendered pyramid is mirrored worldwide, with women holding positions as 60% of junior managers, 40% of middle managers, 20% at senior levels and single digits at CEO. The article published by Dutch News had a particular sentence in it that caught my attention “The government wants to ensure 30% of boardroom jobs are done by women by 2016 but the current figure is only around 16%.”