Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Supporting feminism

So I was taking the time to ponder the list I shared on Facebook last week.  I do identify as a feminist, I certainly believe there should be equality between the sexes, as a father I believe that raising children and housework should be split 50-50. I am becoming more concerned with the way women are portrayed in the films, television and books I (and my kids consume). It irrks me that Amal Cooney's speech to the UN was reported as her "showing off her baby bump", and Amal is referred to as George Cloney's wife rather than by name. These things matter.

In pondering the list, there are things I'm good at, and there's a lot I'm becoming aware of, and there is also a lot more I need to do.

I've been always been good at doing housework, but recognise I certainly lag in doing some of the things I'm saying I'll do.

Over the last year, I've become more aware how white and male my reading lists are. so I sought to diversify the lists. I haven't done so well on making it less white, but I have actively sought female authors to read and female musicians to listen to. Representatin matters. The challenge is also to make sure I pass this on to my kids. I'm continually looking out for books written by women, and with strong female characters  to read to my kids. I have certainly given or switch pronouns in the stories I've read my kids, because representation matters. (As an aside read this about the work Geena Davis does. There's also a scary chapter in Tara Moss' 'The Fictional Woman' covering the same information. On the positive front, I'd recommend looking at the 'A Mighty Girl' website.

There's more on the list I'm not good at, I certainly can't say I'm doing 50 % or more of emotional support in the relationships I have.

Some of the others on the list are possibly common sense, but also things we don't normally do, like giving women space, but not tolerating sexist talk or jokes, and also believing a women who tells you something is sexist.

I'm also trying to make sure I am actively seeking to read or listen to women's voices on the things I love, like music, sport, and politics. Different perspectives matter.

To be clear, I've got a long way to go, there's certainly more I can do. I'm certainly not good at standing up to sexist jokes or other unwelcome behaviour. Needless to say I'm also guilty of the occasional ogle.

In closing this, I'd encourage you to read more of the original article and listen to the women in your life, rather than my just my post.

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