Feminism.

Not something I ever thought I’d blog about!

Why?

A number of reasons, ranging from:
1) “It’s 2013 – surely gender stereotypes are dead?”
2) Lack of interest – I’m better suited to campaigning about Cancer issues.
3) I like Jam and high heels (…stay with me… all will become clear…).

HOWEVER,

Today, at the Mumsnet Blogfest, the topic of feminism has taken me from total disinterest, to pure outrage, to laughing and taking the Michael. So here I am… blogging about Feminism..

The topic… “Can you be a feminist AND a mummy blogger?”

This session was approached with great scepticism from (I think) the majority of bloggers, before any panellists had even opened their mouths.

I’ll give you a clue… a speaker, standing up in front of 330 mums who all write blogs, telling them that they cannot be feminist, as they write “mummy blogs” – was not wise.

Definitions of feminism seemed to be varied and skewed, from those who (like me) believe in equal rights and freedom of choice, to those who seemed to think women are superior to men.

The biggest jokes were when we were told that feminists do not make Jam or wear high heels. To add to the hilarity, many of us had a jar of jam in our BlogFest goody bags. So tweets have mockingly gone from “Feminists don’t make Jam”, to “Women don’t like jam”, to my rather confused tweet – as I got Marmalade!

In fact the speakers who opened this gargantuan can of proverbial worms, inadvertently had an even bigger can of whoopass fired back at them. Outrage fully tore up the auditorium when one speaker proclaimed that if she hadn’t finished her degree, she’d have been a bad mother. That was the cue for all mothers without degrees to object fiercely and the debate heated up a few hundred degrees.

By the time the speaker had got to her comment of “being a mum isn’t everything”, the crowd had fully launched into shouting (one at a time) their strongly opposing opinions, experiences and emotional tales. This was the one that angered me the most. I HAVE a degree. I have great achievements in my life. I have hobbies, interests, I’m starting my own business, but BEING A MUM IS EVERYTHING. It is the be all and end all of my life. My three children are my entire world, and if I had to sacrifice all the things I’ve achieved in my life, to be their mum – I’d do it in a heartbeat.

In my relationship, Hubs and I treat each other equally. We both work. We both care for our children. We both do housework. We both write blogs. We have different hobbies and we have similar hobbies. There is not just equality in our marriage, but team work too.

I write a mummy blog (that I’m hugely proud of) – this here one you are reading now. I’m never going to label myself as a feminist. I can live with or without jam. I love my trainers, equally as much as my stilettos. I mostly believe in equality, except when it comes to heavy lifting – or taking the bins out… those are a mans job! 😉

 

  1. Kiran at Mummy Says says:

    Great post. I wasn’t there today, but really agree with what you say. Good on you for being proud of who you are and what you do. It sounds like the speaker was perhaps trying to stir things up a bit? Anyway, keep being proud of yourself and of believing in equality – even if that does mean leaving the bins for your man to take out! x
    Kiran at Mummy Says recently posted..Rainy day funMy Profile

  2. BakedPotato Mummy says:

    I had wondered what all the fuss and irate tweets were about.
    Seems like a real case of a speaker badly judging their audience. I would have been irate too. I don’t see how being a mummy blogger precludes an individual from being a feminist any more than it means they are! A very flawed argument.
    BakedPotato Mummy recently posted..Hothfield HeathlandMy Profile

  3. Mchelle S says:

    I don’t think I’m a feminist. I’m not sure what defines a person as one.

    I’m a mum (of twins) and I love my babies with all my heart. But I don’t believe being a mum is everything. I have enough of my own experiences witn own babies, I don’t need to read of others’ experiences too. This is NOTHING against you. You seem pragmatic and considerate. But some mummy blogs shove their own children and their experiences down your throat. If I want to experience children and Mumminess, I spend time with my own children. If I want to escape that, I come on Twitter.

    I hope the above makes sense. X

  4. Mums do travel says:

    Great post. I would have walked out of the session if I hadn’t been looking forward to seeing the fabulous and wonderful Jo Brand who was speaking straight afterwards. The whole subject of the debate was ridiculous and I felt patronised by some of the things the speakers said. It’s the first time I’ve been to Blogfest and I had no idea I’d be subjected to this kind of thing.
    Mums do travel recently posted..Secret rocket testing site on the Isle of WightMy Profile

  5. Katherine says:

    Well written Emma…I too have a degree, an MA and a good job (when not on maternity leave!) however, I’d give it all up to have my girls – I wouldn’t even have to think about it. Being a mum has made me complete, and made me happier than I knew I could be.

    I think you’ve summed it up really well. Equality is the answer xx
    Katherine recently posted..Some random photo practiceMy Profile

  6. Jo says:

    I’m a bit worried when I hear you say something like “being a mum is everything”. That’s great for you, but aren’t you being exactly the kind of judgemental person you are accusing others of being? What’s wrong with enjoying being a mother but also loving being a lawyer, or a postal worker, or volunteering with a charity, and feeling very strongly that you wouldn’t want to give up those bits of your identity?

    • Emma Day says:

      As I’ve already said (if you’d read my post) – I already do all of those things. But there is nothing in this world, that compares to the rewarding, inspiring, fulfilment that comes with being a mum. And no – again, if you’d read my post, you’ll see I’ve made no judgements on anyone.

  7. wendy says:

    I didn’t go yesterday, but wondered what all the irate tweets were about.
    Sounds like a ‘heated’ session! 🙂
    Feminism should surely be about choice. Being able to make up your OWN mind and be heard. Not being told what to do and what to think – that would have wound me up too!

    • Maddie Sinclair says:

      Totally agree – in my opinion it is about, as a female, having the choice to do whatever it is you choose to do. That is empowerment. End of. The feminist movement seems to me to be like the Australian Labor Party – too much infighting. They need to unite against a common cause. I am a proud feminist. My dad has always been a proud feminist (well ahead of his time!). And my husband is one too. Being a feminist is about believing in choice and believing in the equality of the sexes – not that they are the same (because they are not), but that they are equal.
      Maddie Sinclair recently posted..Matalan Movie Club – Finding NemoMy Profile

      • Emma Day says:

        Very very well said Maddie. Perhaps you should blog about it too! You seem to have a full and proper understanding of feminism, as opposed to some of the “wannabe feminists” that spoke up yesterday. x

  8. Mrs Teepot says:

    It really frustrates me that some sections at blogging events seem to be designed purposely to anger people so that they get talking.
    I don’t consider myself a feminist but I do want equality so that women, and men, have a choice in their lives.
    As for jam making, my breadmaker does that!

  9. Michaela Britton says:

    I agree with everything you have said and am gutted that I missed it all as I wasn’t there but can I just say… I hate jam and I never (well hardly ever) wear heels, so on their reckoning, I am a feminist 😉

    Now, where’s that lighter, I better get burning this here bra!
    Michaela Britton recently posted..Balloon Baboon BouquetMy Profile

  10. pinkoddy says:

    I think it is a shame that this is how Blogfest is being talked about rather than the important issue of how we can come together and make a change. I straight away tweeted that you can be a good mother without a degree – and I have one so it wasn’t a personal response at justifying my decisions at all. I think it is up to the lady in question if she wants to feel that way too, but I disagree.
    pinkoddy recently posted..No matter how big or how small we can all help #Blogfest #MotivationalMondayMy Profile

  11. liska says:

    Remember even though that session left us both with a bad taste in our mouths, we had a FAB time getting to know each other during the drinks/gin after. You’ll be in my thoughts now, for your next scan, your low iodine diet etc…. I can’t believe what an unsung hero you are. You’ve done some pretty formidable things that I loved hearing about.
    Love, Liska xx
    liska recently posted..Get Educated This Christmas. Clever Cheap Toys a 3 year old will LOVEMy Profile

  12. Kate Thompson says:

    I agree. Slapping the “Mummy Blogger” label on Mums who blog is insulting to the majority and fails to notice the writer. It denies their individuality and in a typical left wing/socialist/big government type way attempts to impose an artificial social framework where it doesn’t exist. It also brings out all the feminists in defence of their pro women stance by suggesting that they can’t be one and the other. #missingthepoint . Here’s my response to Blogfest
    http://musingssahm.blogspot.co.uk/2013/11/mummy-blogger-p-l-e-s-e.html
    Kate Thompson recently posted..“Wiggling” the WiresMy Profile

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