Millicent tendencies

This is what a feminist looks like - Bill Bailey

As an update to one of my very early blog posts on this poor neglected blog I can proudly announce that I am now a fully paid up member of The Fawcett Society.

Historically I have struggled with the word feminism. Studying electronic engineering with a large majority of male students I always felt that somehow the women’s organisations around the university weren’t so much helping but rather highlighting the idea that perhaps I shouldn’t be there. Also, they always seemed to gather around courses that were predominantly attended by women and I was left sceptical that they truly understood what impact gender had on my day to day. There was that one lecturer who, during a talk on friction: “friction is the force generated when 2 bodies rub against each other…why are you all looking at Ivanka?”. I will always be grateful to my class mates for not laughing at what this man obviously thought was wit.

At the same time, on the same course, there was the mathematics lecturer who stopped a lecture to tell ‘the boys’ they should be ashamed of themselves for letting me answer all the questions. (This I liked, obviously!) He quickly scuttled over to apologise “I hope I didn’t offend, please don’t report me to the equal opportunities board, I’ve already been there once this month!” Both these men were of a particular generation and good educators and I decided that causing a ‘fuss’ would do neither me nor them any good at all. I just got on with being a student.

Fast forward 12 years. I was discussing Fawcett with a woman I would consider to be a mentor. She is older and more experienced and I have a huge amount of respect for her. We were discussing gender differences and women in work:

Me: “A friend introduced me to Fawcett; it’s a feminist charity…not sure… I’ve always classed myself as something of an anti-feminist.”

My friend: “You are just being sucked in by the shallow media on feminism.”

Me (blushing): “Hmm…”

So I have done some reading and checked out their research. To highlight only one report seems a little remiss of me but this blog post is long enough as it is:

Dispelling myths on Women’s voting patterns, Fawcett and Ipsos MORI

“Just like men, women hold widely differing views which are greatly affected by their age and class.” I love the way this finding ties back into my day job of persuading my clients that thinking about ‘the customer’ as a lump is perhaps not the best way to approach things.

So, ladies and gentlemen, I invite you to check out The Fawcett Society, I encourage you to read what they have to say and I hope you decide to sign up.

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2 Trackbacks

  • […] I’ve been musing recently on the state of feminism among women today, and it strikes me it’s in a pretty bad place. I can’t think of any other grassroots cause that is so hated and so abhorrent to so many of the people that it aims to serve. Most young women today not only feel that they owe nothing to the feminist movement, they also seem to reject the very idea and ideals of feminism and see it as totally outmoded in today’s society. Balkan Witch talks about it very interestingly here. […]

  • By I am we. on 5 September, 2010 at 4:09 pm

    […] my response to this news item was positive. The point of my post is to applaud and invite support. My relationship with feminism has had its ups and downs over the years but my relationship with equality has always been […]

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