Embracing feminism...

Embracing feminism…

Feminism and the concept of labeling myself a feminist has been on my mind lately. A lot.

Call me a late bloomer, but the thought of actually stepping up and proudly calling myself a feminist has only recently occurred to me.

Prior to that, I would have preferred to drop the f-bomb in the boardroom than utter the word feminist, let alone label myself one.

I am tired of waiting for change though, and want my kids to enter a workforce where men and women are on a par, and where raising kids as a team effort is the norm (the lovely Big A and I make it work after all!).

So spurned on by some seriously ambitious and intelligent women, thank you Catherine Fox and Sheryl Sandberg, I have started ‘stepping up‘ or ‘leaning in’.

No easy feat as I work in the mining industry, which is, well, more than a little blokey.

Which most of the time doesn’t bother me…too much.

Then I think about the fact that it’s not just mining, it’s nearly all industries, and it’s really obvious as you rise through the ranks.

I am writing this from the Qantas Club, a business lounge in an airport in Brisbane, Australia.

Where, the vast majority of patrons are men.  Last night, before I flew out of sunny Perth (Australia), the situation was even more blokey.  Qantas Club had bascially become a Man Cave (I would say Gentlemen’s Club, however, there were far too many men in thongs, singlets and mullets getting around for that – PS – if you are confused right now and you’re thinking wait a minute…Qantas Club…WTF… it’s because there’s a mining boom in WA peeps – so loads of miners, and therefore men).

Seems kind of wrong doesn’t it? Where were all the women? Qantas Club is (usually) the place you go when traveling for business.  I was tempted to get the hell out of there last night, there were a shiteload of men, a lot of loud drinking and swearing, and well, it wasn’t the most welcoming of places. However, I decided to stick it out, as I had every right to be there.

Which is a pretty neat analogy and a great story to share when I try to explain how tough it can be to be a woman in the workforce.

It is tough, and it is challenging.

Each and every day I face up to situations where I am the only woman, or one of a handful. Over the years while working in other industries, it’s the same story. I’ve missed out on a top job because I had just had a young baby, visited sites where there are no ladies toilets, been asked to take the minutes and get the coffee, been called a ‘girl’ more times that I can count, and been treated like an idiot just for being a woman, and missed out on promotions time and time again despite being more qualified and experienced than the male applicants I am competing against. You know what though, I have never given up and walked away. Just like at the Qantas Club last night, I have no intention of walking away because it’s too hard.  Instead I intend to keep standing my ground, and encourage and inspire women and men to look beyond gender in the workplace and on the home-front.

Whilst enjoying my time in the Man Cave – sorry Qantas Club, I have been reading a wonderful, thought-provoking, funny and poignant set of stories presented by Jane Caro- Destroying the Joint.  Born from the rantings of Alan Jones, (in his usual brash shock-jock way), women have united to share their thoughts on why women have to change the world.  You see, poor old Alan is concerned women will ‘destroy the joint’ if too many women get into power.

So, thank you Alan Jones, thank you to all the Alan Jones in this world who think men and women aren’t equally capable at home and at work. Thanks to all of you for encouraging (ok maybe forcing me) to own the label.  Yes, I am a feminist, and I am proud of it. I do believe women offer as much to the world as men, I believe in equal pay, equal chance of promotion, and above all the ability to choose.  Equality means shared responsibility at home too, raising kids, cleaning the house, whatever it takes.

Do you see yourself as a feminist?

Enjoy xx

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4 Responses to I’d rather drop the f-bomb at work than call myself a feminist! #destroythejoint

  1. machaston says:

    It is women who will save this planet which men have and continue to try to destroy. I am not just saying this from an environmental p.o.v but also from our continued pursuit of unsustainable economic growth at any cost.

    • Kirsty says:

      It is an interesting point to contemplate, how can economic growth continue at a huge rate of knots without any impact? Brilliant to hear that you think women can play a pivotal role in turning things around, thank you! K x

  2. Helen says:

    funny to read this today – am also just recently back into calling myself a feminist after really getting into it at uni several years ago and then backing off simply because of being so disillusioned. now, i like to think i’m a bit older and wiser and working towards starting conversations with people, mainly family and friends (the only ones reading my blog so far) and enouraging them to get there at their own speed. a lovely and inspiring blog – nice to know there are plenty of us out there 🙂

    • Kirsty says:

      Oh, I know what you mean! Writing is a great way to have you say though isn’t it (I’m ducking over to check your blog out now!). I think you have hit the nail on the head, the secret to being a happy feminist is to lose the rage, but carry on the conversation. Take care, and happy blogging, K x

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