Being a busy bee and some more thoughts on feminism…

Good morning (or evening, depending on where you are in the world)!

I have had a busy few days, learnt a lot, taken on new responsibilities but I really feel like things are coming together.  Have been in the process of arranging a vintage pamper event in my hometown, arranging a photoshoot with a range of fab suppliers and starting up a wedding guide with a friend – I will get to blog about people’s wonderful weddings, have a chance to look at their gorgeous photographs and give the world inspiration for their own weddings.  This, alongside my course and of course family commitments is a lot to take on but I am so excited about it.  It is good to be busy and if your busy doing things you love, that can only be a good thing. I reckon that doing a lot of different things suits me, I love the feeling of working and accomplisment of finishing something you have worked so hard on.

On another note, I am still hard at work with learning about feminism and femininity and have had some great discussions with fellow blogger, Miss Fairchild and my mother, who is particularly inspirational.

My mother who grew up in the 60’s was told she was not womanly as she wanted to do her A-levels, un-feminine because she wanted to work, an embarassment becuase she was earning a higher wage than her father, not a good mum because she worked when she had me.  In fact, what she is, is quite the opposite.  In a time when it would have been easier to follow the crowd and stay at home and become a housewife, she had goals and a belief that she wanted to use her mind and make the most of her life and she refused to be told otherwise by anyone else.  I recall when I was growing up, how all the school mums would congregate outside the school gate to pick up their children – gossiping, making crude remarks about other women, talking about their latest handbag and so on, my mum was often the one who maybe turned up 5/10 minutes late but she was only there to do one thing, not gossip with other women about their mundane ‘so-called’, priviliged lives, but to pick me, her daughter up.  In Autumn she would take me to the woods, go hunting for leaves and conkers, go for walks with our dogs, teach me to read (I was quite a way ahead of others in my class in terms of reading – which was all credit to my mum), in Summer she would take me to the park, or in fact my dad would pick me up from school, most of all, I was loved and was shown and told how much I was loved every day.  Just because my mum worked to ensure I would have things that she never had, I never suffered from that – she gave me inspiration and my parents have always told me that what ever I put my mind to, I can do.   The other mums would not talk to my mother – they looked down on her because she wasn’t ‘one of them’, yet they were the fools because she would go out of her way to avoid having to speak to those women.  Funnily enough, from time to time I see those other mothers and they still hang around in a clique – their daughters are the exactly the same!

My reason for telling you this is due to the fact that while reading ‘The Feminine Mystique’, it made me look at those women and those girls that once bullied me at school in another light… This happens consistently around the world – women against women, instead of being encouraging, other who do not have the capability or drive to do something truly worthwhile with their lives are often the ones who try to make other people’s life difficult by being hostile towards them…

“A woman who is more than just a housewife can expect a few barbs from her suburban neighbours.  She no longer has the time for idle gossip over endless cups of coffee…she can no longer share with other wives that cosy ‘we’re all in the same boat’ illusion; her very presence rocks that boat.  And she can expect her home, her husband and her children to be scrutinized with more than the usual curiosity for the slightest sign of a ‘problem’.  This kind of hostility, howewver, sometimes masks a secret envy”

(Betty Friedan, 1963)

Written decades ago, but how interesting that these dynamics still exist today.  In fact, I read an article this morning http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/nov/27/why-women-fight-women  – demonstrating how many women are sometimes their own worst enemy.  Why try and prevent women furthering themselves, worst of all, why prevent them when they are consequently preventing themselves to have the opportunity to have more rights?!

(Below are some images for you to peruse…)

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I feel despair reading that article, but inspired looking at those images.  However, it makes me feel even more determined to learn more about the world – ‘knowledge is power’, so my fiance often tells me.  It is time women celebrated each other.  Femininity and being a woman does not mean you cannot have equal rights, but it seems that is only half the battle, the other half is convincing women it is in their best interests.

 Have a great day everyone x

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One thought on “Being a busy bee and some more thoughts on feminism…

  1. Another beautifully written post. I grew up surrounded by inspirational women. My nana (who is still my idol) was widowed in her early 20’s with two kids in a foreign country (my grandfather was a top motorcyclist who died during a race). She came home and put herself through school while raising two little ones in order to be able to support them long term. When she remarried the man turned out to be absolutely psychotic – extremely violent. As a strict catholic she had never believed in divorce but sure enough she divorced him (and then was forced out of her church). She did everything on her own and was a full time carer for her youngest son until a few years ago as well as looking after her father who insisted on living alone until he passed away last year.

    My other gran was a performer and she was on tv a lot in Australia gaining quite a bit of celebrity. So when she had two kids out of wedlock to two different men in the 50/60’s she was quite the scarlet woman. She was constantly a force to be reckoned with and as she aged and got bigger (once she hurt her knee the weight piled on) she was no longer considered attractive enough for tv work. So she made her own work. She was getting ready for a show the morning she died at 65 years old.

    I have never heard either of these women say the word “feminist” but they say it in everything they ever did. My Nan is always soft spoken, never swears and is kind to everyone. My Gran was loud, swore like a sailor (and drank like one too) and could be a down right …. well I don’t want to swear.

    My mum stayed at home. It really drove my grandmother insane that my mum’s aspiration in life was to have a family and look after them. My dad may be a lot of things (he will sleep with anything that moves) but he was just as happy to take me fishing as my brother. I spent most of my time with my dad building things or camping or fishing. My pacifist brother loathed fishing (killing something was just too horrible no surprise that he is now a vegan) and much preferred being at home with mum. In our family this was just normal. Again, my mother never mentioned the word feminism and neither did my dad. He treated me the same as my brother and I grew up thinking girls could do anything.

    Once I started learning a bit about the feminist movement when I was younger I labelled myself a feminist and was incredibly vocal about it (as I have always been, often to my own detriment, when it comes to things I find important). It was only then did I start to learn about the negative connotations with the word. My step father would often accuse me of being a “dirty feminist” and kept asking when I was going to give up shaving my pits (in his defence he is a moron…). Of course being extremely stubborn this just made me dig my heels in more.

    The more I see women back away from the word the more I use it at home with my daughters. My husband uses the word a lot too and we always talk about it in reference to girls having equal rights (not girls are cooler than boys or anything “cute” like that) and the right too choose their own path. My mum thought she wasn’t a feminist because she choose to stay at home. But given her mothers pressure to not…choosing her own path, when it was starting to be seen that women should be doing *more* than *just* raising kids, was just as feministic (totally not a word – but it’s 38 degrees here and we have no aircon) as me choosing to go out and work while my husband chose to stay at home.

    It is all about equal rights and freedom to make the choice.

    And like your mum, I too was the subject of gossip at my daughters former school. I was called “the invisible woman” because I was rarely seen at the school by women who had nothing better to do than hang out in the school playground for ages gossiping with one another. It was just like highschool.

    oh dear – another essay reply!

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