On the eve of International Women’s Day, March 8, it is fitting to reflect on how far women have come and how far we still need to go to achieve equality and kindness for all. Of course, within this written reflection are the challenging terms ‘women’ and ‘equality’. In these times of political correctness, neither can be defined anymore without invoking the rage of the woke warriors. So, no definitions here. Just a focus on fierce, focused women still fighting, hopefully for the female side.
Let’s fight on the same team despite our diversity
For sadly, not all women are now batting for the same team. They are fierce, focused and fighting but not kind to other women. We are splintering into factions of feminists, ultra feminists, nasty hate filled feminists and women who brazenly flash their male body parts in changerooms.
Never has there been so much variety in womanhood but never have we been so confused regarding what we can say and who is included. The women of today in all their variety are still fierce and focused but some wage war on other women depending on their rules of political and gender speak correctness. We have forgotten to be kind.
What about the universal sisterhood? What happened to a united female front for liberation and equality. What about kindness? Let’s use our energy for good, our voices for good not to tear each other apart.
It’s about the equality the suffragettes fought for
Never have we been less able to speak or write our mind. Is this equality? The suffragettes who fought for our rights and recognition as equals were fierce, focused women prepared to go to prison, be tortured and even die for their noble cause. These women never had to do battle with political semantics as the modern woman does lest she offend someone.
Nobody questioned what a woman was, only what they could do. Tough suffragettes and female pioneers who changed the world fought because they could not freely participate in a man’s world. They were fierce, focused women fighting for the right to enter the world, not just be restricted to the home front. They could not engage in work other than menial tasks, nor own a business, vote or even have a passport in their own name. They had to fight the fight.
Today, millions of women in Africa, Asia and the Middle east are still in this stage of non-liberation. We should think of them, our still imprisoned sisters and be warriors for their liberation from male domination not fighting amongst ourselves.
Can women have it all?
Only privileged and liberated Western women can seemingly have it all. The freedom to vote, work, choose their partners and when or whether to have children.
Yet there is so much unhappiness among women folk. Domestic violence and divorce are at a record high. In an attempt to have it all, women have come off poorer in some respects. Unlike men who are single focused at any time, women by necessity have to focus on child rearing and career. Women are good, sure, at multitasking, but even our amazing skill set has its limits. At the point of exhaustion, at the point of not doing either well.
Life is indeed confusing, stressful and time poor for the modern woman. Juggling work and family commitments leaves her exhausted and with little leisure time. This stress flows down to the marriage creating cracks that catapult couples into divorce and children into insecurity and unhappiness.
To compound this, men have not progressed overly since cave man days. In fact, they seem to have gone backwards. No longer the food hunter or even sole bread winner, they have relinquished their Tarzan existence to sit on couches flicking TV remotes and waiting for their dinner.
Meanwhile, their partner runs around in dizzy circles doing it all, despite having worked an 8-hour day herself. Women’s liberation enrages some testosterone fueled men. They become violent because of their need to dominate and control their women. Men behaving badly, having dangerous toddler tantrums cancels our hard gained liberation.
Asking a few highflyers
Australian Julie Bishop when asked by Nadia Salemme for Stellar, whether women can have it all, replied,’ They can, but not all at the same time.’ Julie chose to have career and soared in the political sphere to become Australia’s Foreign Affairs Minister. She excelled at diplomacy but had time for sport and has a keen interest in fashion.
Now, retired from politics, Julie is an official ‘friend’ of the iconic David Jones fashion label. Julie believes that age should not define or restrict a woman and that fashion allows a woman to fully express herself. Go, Julie. That is liberating and uplifting. I must re-inspect my wardrobe.
Another Australian woman who is inspiring, apart from amazing Turia Pitt, is athlete, Tayla Harris. This young spitfire is up for the fight for equality for women in sport. Tayla is not focused on medals and trophies. Like Ash Barty, she is into respect for women which involves a lowering of the focus on a women’s appearance and gender in the sporting arena.
A few years ago, sneery haters targeted Tayla, sniggering at a photo of her taken while she kicked off at a footy game. But she fought back in her proud, feisty female way and has come up trumps. Nowadays she is a boxer as well as an elite footy player. Go, Tayla!
Tayla, like Julie and most of us believe kindness matters. If there were more kindness in the world what a world it would be! No wars, no domestic violence against women, no stalkers or rapists, no hate speech. Ah! Dream on! International Women’s Day is a time for visualizing and trying to bring about a kinder, more equal world for all, not just women.
We need to be fierce and focused as a united team of female warriors, but we need also to be kind to each other. Our kindness can teach men to be in touch with their softer, compassionate side. But we need to be kind to other women first. No bitching, please!
photo source from Unsplash
Joni Scott is an Australian author with three published novels: Whispers through Time and The Last Hotel and Colour Comes to Tangles. Joni also co-hosts a women’s blog; https://whisperingencouragement.com/ and has her own website; https://joniscottauthor.com.