Everyone knows that the Woman Suffrage Movement was made in order to give the women the equal right to vote and to hold public office, just as men were able to.
Every person, man and woman alike, should have a say in what the future of their country should be.
The fight was won and now women can vote, but along with this there were many other things that the suffragettes were also able to accomplish for womankind.
But there are some things about suffragettes you might not know. Here’s some of them.
When the word feminism is mentioned, what usually comes to mind is now a twisted, warped version of what the term really means.
Where feminism is supposed to mean ‘the advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of the equality of the sexes,’ these days some women take it to mean that women should be of higher rank than men, and thus should be held in higher regard.
Unfortunately, it is this warped version which has grown in popularity (with the help of popular culture) and has led to a common misunderstanding of Feminism.
Feminism is grossly misunderstood and is often mistaken for misandry.
I am sure that I have discussed this before, but feminism and misandry is completely different from each other.
Basically, feminists are all about gaining equality in the work place, fighting violence and abuse against women, and having control of oneself and of one’s own body.
Misandry on the other hand, is all about hating men and subjugating them in the same way that men subjugate women. It is the inverse of misogyny, which is the hatred of women.
True feminists believe in equality for all people, regardless of gender.
In fact, you will see many feminists who like men and enjoy the company of men, and there are many men who call themselves feminists as well.
While there are self-proclaimed feminists who are really just misandrists in disguise, the truth is that I have noticed a disturbing trend of misandrist jokes being linked to feminists.
There are many feminists who use tongue-in-cheek misandrist comments in an effort to look “ironic”.
For example, I had a friend who needed an emergency locksmith in Luton, and called up the local locksmith.
The man who arrived was short, and a bit heavy set, and she immediately made a comment about how “men should be in grunt work, am I right?”
She laughed and expected me to do the same, but I immediately accosted her. I apologized to the locksmith and paid him for his time.
I then turned to my friend and asked her why she would say something like that.
She told me that it was all a joke and that there is nothing wrong with a bit of “ironic misandry”.
In fact, this same friend has one of those “I drink men’s tears” mugs lying around in her house.
While I can appreciate some humour here and there, jokes about misandry do not help the cause even in the slightest.
It is the equivalent of misogynist jokes such as “Make me a sandwich”.
If that locksmith had told me that I was “too delicate” for such a job, I would have likewise been offended.
In the proper context, ironic misandrist jokes are fine, especially if they are used as rebuttal to a misogynist joke.
However, most of the time, it is just damaging to the cause especially since the majority of people will be put off by the tongue-in-cheek commentary.
There are other ways to be humorous, but often times, snarky misandry is not the way to go. After all, sexism disguised as humour is still sexism.
Misandry and misogyny are both damaging to feminists and help no one, even if its “just a joke”.
With all thanks to the suffragettes, we women now have more rights. We can do a lot of things now that we could not back then.
Although things are still not exactly what I would call ‘ideal’, for me it appears that we are getting there—if by one little baby step at a time. It takes a while for society to change after all.
There are many things that women can do now that we could not even begin to imagine doing back then, such as getting a job in higher education amongst other things, but here are some more things we can do now that we couldn’t before.
Starting with, of course, the right to…
As we all know, thanks to the suffragettes who pushed for the passing of the 19th amendment in 1920, women now have the right to vote.
It was a long battle for them to achieve this, and it was a battle that started the ball rolling.
The rest of these effects I’ve listed following (and many effects I’ve not been able to list) are residual, but the suffragettes have truly made it all possible.
Attending Ivy League Schools
Way back when, only two Ivy League schools admitted women before the year 1913—UPenn and Cornell.
After 1913 other Ivy League schools have begun to admit women—Harvard, Princeton, Yale, Brown, Dartmouth and Columbia alike.
Additionally, married women could also finally apply to graduate school as well, something that was not possible back then.
Owning Credit Cards in Their Name
It may seem like such a trivial thing now, in today’s world, but back then, women could not even own credit cards in their own names. At least they could not before the year 1974.
But after the passing of the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, women could finally get credit cards in their own name as the act ensured that banks and financial institutions could no longer discriminate based on sex.
Men and women both could be able to get credit cards at last.
This is something that is close to my heart because I believe that women should have the right to control what happens to their bodies.
I know there is a huge argument over it, and I do listen to both sides, but this is still my belief and I hope that people can respect it without causing argument.
Now, that said, the pill became more widely available for women in the year 1960, after the FDA approved it. In addition, emergency contraception became available in 1998, after the FDA approved it.
It lessens the likelihood of them carrying their attacker’s child to term, a horrific thing to live with and deal with no doubt.
I once had a period stain while I looked at some venues in Leeds for a party. My friend, who was there to accompany me, audibly gasped, “You have a stain!!” while pointing at a little red dot on my pants.
I looked and indeed, I had a stain on my pants, but I told her it was not a big deal, and I was simply having one of my heavy flow days. I said that I will finish what I am doing first before I decide to change my clothes.
Meanwhile, here is an An informative video of the biological processes behind the menstrual cycle:
But she kept insisting that I change it now, because it is “so embarrassing” and “what if someone sees you?”. I laughed it off and told her that while it is a bit embarrassing to see a stain on my clothes because of my period, it really isn’t that big of a deal, as I get them all the time when I am having one of my heavier days.
She then said “But aren’t you afraid of people finding out about your periods?”. At this point, I looked at her with a bit of surprise. Well, to be honest, periods should not be a horrible, shameful thing that has to kept secret from everyone.
Almost all women have had a period in their lives and will likely live with it for the rest of their reproductive lives.
Unless you are sick, transgendered, or had a hysterectomy, your periods are common and perfectly normal. Why would I be afraid of someone else finding out that I have a period?
But then I remembered how my mother told me that periods are horrible, immodest things, and that I should keep them secret from everyone. She would not even let me throw away my sanitary napkin in the trash bag, as I needed to carefully wrap it in multiple layers of paper until it is no longer identifiable as a pad. Not only was this a waste of paper, but I was confused over the hushed attitudes people seem to have about it.
Even in these modern days, the word “menstruation” is still considered unclean and uncalled for when brought up in conversation, even if things such as sexuality and sex acts come up in conversation all the time.
I even heard someone joke that saying the word “menstruation” in public procures the same reactions from onlookers as saying “Voldemort” in Hogwarts.
Harry Potter taboo words aside, I have always wondered why periods are such taboos. They are a natural part of female sexuality, a very normal and common biological response that dates back thousands if not millions of years.
Why is it that a woman is culturally trained to be ashamed of her period, having to go through many lengths to pretend that she does not get them?
As a feminist, I believe that your menstrual cycle is nothing to be ashamed about. It is simply part of who you are and a symbol of your fertility. I think women should embrace her periods, not vilify them, even though they do give you some nasty cramps!
Some people seem to believe that if you are a feminist, motherhood is incompatible with your world-view and should therefore be shunned. However, I do not believe this myself. While I disagree that a woman’s only purpose would be to bear children into this world, I believe that feminism and motherhood are not mutually exclusive of each other.
I have a partner and two children myself, yet I consider myself a feminist. Yes, I am a working woman with my own jobs and a blog to boot, but I do not think that my choice of having children is considered “anti-feminist” or somehow makes me less of a woman.
Motherhood is intrinsically feminine, and while people of all genders are capable of parenthood, biologically speaking, motherhood is something only a woman (or someone who is formerly a woman) can experience.
I do not believe that motherly duties are somehow less noble than working your job or making a change in the world. For me, feminism is having a choice, being allowed to choose their own path rather than being controlled by a social construct.
Meanwhile here is a one hour lecture video namely ”The Truth About Motherhood and Feminism”:
I take my motherly duties very seriously, and make sure that my feminist ideals still carry over to motherhood. For example, I have noticed that children’s toys are extremely gendered nowadays: boy’s toys are always blue, while girl’s toys are always pink.
Science toys, engineering toys, car toys, and doctor toys are often always limited to boys, while girls get baby dolls, tea sets, toy kitchens, and toy jewellery. Personally, I feel that this is not only damaging to a girl’s self esteem, but I think that it does not give them a well rounded education while growing up.
I believe that my children, especially my girls, should have equal opportunities in the future. If they want to become scientists, then they should be able to do so, without being told that it is “for men” only. That is why I think that you should get your children on a science day camp during the school holidays, and allow them to explore what they like.
Even sports are considered masculine, which I find quite strange. I know that my young ones are already interested in football, so I allow them to play as much as they like. After all, I am glad that they prefer to do sports and be healthy, rather than staying indoors waiting for their Prince Charming to come.
Of course, I still buy my children dolls and cooking sets and other toys that are considered “feminine”. If I had a son, I would still buy him dolls if he wanted, because I think parenthood should be a two way street as well.
Motherhood is important, and family of course comes first. Women have the right to choose their lives and whether they should have children or not. Either option is fine, and no one should be judged for it.
Did you know that cultural sexism is still so widespread that even other women have sexist attitudes towards other women? Some of you may be surprised to see that since women are often on the receiving end of sexism, they should be more sensitive when dealing with other women. However, this is not the case – sexism is proliferated by both men and women alike, yet most often than not, women are on the receiving end of this.
Now, while there are women who discriminate against men, the truth is that sexism happens and is proliferated by everyone, but the brunt of the hate is still directed towards women, who have been systemically oppressed for years by a patriarchal society.
I have had my own experiences with sexism from other women. It was during a time when I was looking for therapy after an accident at one of my football games. I live in Leeds and needed some treatment for a sports injury, so I went ahead and found a physiotherapist to help me.
The woman who was in the waiting room with me tried to chat me up asking what I needed from the therapist that day. I smiled and spoke about how I broke my leg during an injury and that it needed a bit more time to heal than usual, so I needed a physiotherapist to help me out.
She then looked at me funny, saying “You are not a lesbian are you?” and I said that no, I wasn’t. She then said “You should not sports, I think that women’s bodies are much to delicate, so no wonder you got injured. Besides, only lesbians and other freaks were into sports”.
I was absolutely taken aback at the callousness of her response. According to her, being a lesbian means that you are lesser person, and that women should not be in sports because we are “delicate”. First of all, being a lesbian does not undermine your femininity, and people should have the choice to love who they want regardless of gender, as long as it is consensual.
Meanwhile here is a video about Gender Inclusive Language – How to Avoid Sexism:
Also, I do not believe that certain activities should be labelled as “for men only” or “for women only”. I know a lot of sports tend to be dominated by men, but many women have just as much drive to be athletes as men, especially if the sport does not require any specific genitals.
For example, football requires that you have two legs and a body. I am sure that most people of the population have legs and a body regardless of their private bits.
If you notice that you are proliferating gender discrimination, try to correct yourself and maybe, in the future, men and women will have the equality that we feminists yearn for. Remember that everyone can be a sexist, whether they are a woman or not.
The first and perhaps one of the most common things is a delayed diagnosis, or a wrong diagnosis altogether.
Errors in medical prescription (often arising from misdiagnoses) is another thing under the negligence umbrella. And of course there are the treatment or surgery errors, such as surgical tools left inside the body, or accidental snips or slices.
Here’s a video about a local surgeon fixes domestic scars for free: