Hi! My name is Emma, I love chocolate, kayaking and bats. I have a birthmark on my right shin and a scar on my stomach where I had an operation to treat Endometriosis a few years ago. My eyes are blue and very poor sighted. I could watch the film Bridesmaids 100 times and never get bored. I'm scared of the tube in London. I was once sick on a train station platform...at rush hour...on my shoes. I am so much more than any of things people seem determined to label me as:
As I careered into my thirtieth year I've noticed a small flicker cross the faces of some people who have children, when I mention I don't own any small people myself. A decision I made (long ago) for two reasons: I didn't find someone I would like to entrust being the father of my children to (like hello, I'm not just going to pick anyone, they must be the bees-knees), and I wanted a career more than I wanted children (I'm handing out flags to the most judgmental of that statement - you can wave them with pride). The fact I don't have children, is no one’s business but my own (and now my partners) and although we joke about it occasionally, deep down I am still not quite there, and this labels me as "childless at 30" in the most derogatory way. Boy do people like to bring it to my attention. As if I wasn't aware I have yet to give birth to an 8lb human. Even in 2018 being "career driven" as a woman conjures up pictures of power suits and impenetrable personalities. In reality, my freedom is non-negotiable, my money is my own, my mornings are full of breakfast-in-beds and sleep and holidays can be a whimsical last-minute adventure. Don't get me wrong, I'd love to have a gaggle of children at some point, but not right now and that shouldn't be my label.
Let's just quickly recap, for those who still haven't got their heads around it: being a feminist is about equality. It still seems mad that we have to explain this. I, in no way, feel women are superior to men or vice versa, I just view every collection of bones and organs to be the same as one another. Our brains are what make us different, not our sexual organs. But STILL, if I pipe up when something is clearly laden with sexism or discriminatory language, I get the old "feminazi" label thrown at me (which is a word that is absolutely disgusting BTW) followed by a sarcastic smile and a general chuckle from the audience in ear shot. When I've mentioned Women Who Do, I've had a few "so it's a bunch of feminists in a room talking about how much they hate men then?", like, hello? You just missed the mark by about 10,000,000 miles. What are you on about? Firstly, we have so much more to talk about than guys, like, oooooh...I don't know...our bloody careers! Our thriving businesses! Our amazing ambitions! Celebrating each other!
Extrovert, airhead and bossy all come from being a confident, blonde-haired woman, who is a bad-ass in business but also swoons over Louboutins. Sometimes I want to shout, "LET ME TALK ABOUT HOW HOT JUSTIN TIMERBLAKE IS WHILST I ORGANISE A CONFERENCE FOR 200 PEOPLE SINGLE-HANDED PLEASE."
I don't know why it's still not accepted by some people that women are made up of all different attributes. I will cry bucket tonnes when Bambi's mother dies, but stand me in front of someone objectifying another woman and all of a sudden, I become The Hulk and ready to tackle their sexist ass to ground. Like, misogyny, come at me, just don't show me any Disney movies.
My point here, although somewhat rambling, is that I feel it's time to stop labeling ourselves and each other in this really negative and stifling way. I guess it's again about removing that judgemental element that we have sort of learnt over time and to be more open and excepting of the varied personalities and decisions people have made. My mum used to say, "if everyone was the same, the world would be a boring place to live" and she is totally right. You are so much more than a word that tries to define you.
*I actually quite like this one because when I hear "bossy" I don't hear "bossy" I hear "boss-y" like - they think I'm the boss. Nailed it.
About the Author:
Emma is the Founder of Women Who Do, running networking events in Winchester, Southampton and Exeter. She has worked in marketing for 7 years. If you'd like to be featured as a guest blogger you can contact her on firstname.lastname@example.org or to join one of our events, take a look at what's on near you: https://www.womenwd.co.uk/seminars-workshops