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Five Ways Feminism Has Taken Over My Life

In today’s society I would hope most people would consider themselves a feminist. It is after all, simply the equality of both genders. However, it must be said that being an active and avid promoter of women’s rights can really take its toll sometimes.  I am so glad my eyes have been opened to the often well-hidden ways patriarchy permeates our society.  But my god, I wouldn’t mind switching it off for five minutes.

 

1)     Tampons

Did you know that the government taxes tampons as luxury goods? And did you know that men’s razors aren’t?  Tampons are essential products which help women continue their day to day lives without being hindered by periods.  What this means is, as if the initial bitterness regarding periods wasn’t bad enough, I now feel an extra pang of bitterness every time I pick up a box of my overpriced, overtaxed tampons. I almost rather I didn’t know.

 

2)     Cooking for my boyfriend

 

Ok so I like to cook, and I like my boyfriend…so cooking for him makes sense, right? But, I just can’t help that little voice at the back of my head telling me that this isn’t fair. Why hasn’t he ever cooked for me? The reason is because it would probably be inedible. But what does this say about ourselves as individuals? Have I conformed to patriarchy by cooking for him every Friday night?! Who knew! The result may be a great lamb tagine but it’s accompanied with just a splash of resentment and internal feminine crisis…Great.

3)     Sex

Ok just to put the record straight, you can definitely be a feminist and have great sex. It’s about having respect for one another, there’s still totally room for some kinkiness. BUT when there’s so much porn available today which portrays such a disrespectful approach to women in the bedroom, it can be really hard to separate ridiculous pornographic sex, and normal sex.

One word: Blowjobs.  Am I degrading myself? I really don’t know. What about doggy style? What does that say about our relationship? What does it say about me?!  Sometimes I just want to have sex without analysing the subconscious society-driven motivations behind it. Please.

4)     Rom Coms

My sixteen year old self used to love rom-coms, but since my eyes were opened to the restrictions of patriarchy, a cheesy rom com is just a bit of an ordeal. I resent my housemates for being able to sit through Pretty Woman and totally gloss over the fact that Julia Roberts is flaunted as a commodity. How can you not see that slimy misogynist for what he really is?!

FYI – This applies to Disney films too, of course.  I want to love Snow White, I really do, but what does it say about the worth of a woman?! Think about it.

5)     Clubbing

So, I’m out in Arena and a song comes on that I love so what do I do? I start to dance. But wait, why am I shaking my bum and thrusting my hips like this? What am I saying about my own body?  Am I conforming to the objectification of women?! Before I know it These Hoes Ain’t Loyal has come on and I’m helplessly singing along, quickly trying to shut up the niggling feminist voice at the back of my mind.  The fact is, I can’t go clubbing anymore without having an inner conflict with myself. Thanks Chris Brown.

 

DISCLAIMER – This is a list of five things. Patriarchy has ruined a lot more, trust me!

In my final year at the University of Exeter, studying English and History.
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