Today feels like a great day, it is 100 years since women won the vote, and it is everywhere, everyone is talking about it and that is just how it should be. We SHOULD celebrate it, and I am hoping all women celebrate it by voting!
It does feel a bit sad however that in 2018 there is still gender inequality in jobs, relationships, pay, parenting, etc. but it is going in the right direction and we must push on with it and raise our sons and daughters to believe in equality.
I saw the Lorraine show this morning and she said she isn’t sure it is something you can teach, and in part she is right, it is more about our attitudes around our children and what we surround them with. With this in mind we got out Hallie’s ‘Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls’ book and started to read about amazing women through history. From doctors to writers and politicians to scientists, these women are more than inspiring.
When I was growing up I honestly didn’t see a difference between men and women, I didn’t realise some people thought my dad was superior to my mum. My dad was a department store manager and worked in fashion and my mum was our mum and then a teacher, I didn’t realise people thought there were ‘male’ jobs and ‘female’ jobs. My mum has always instilled into me that I could be anything I wanted to be, and that university was always an option if I wanted it. Whilst growing up I wanted to be a vet, then a lawyer and then a journalist, I don’t remember anyone laughing at these choices or saying I couldn’t, and that all stems back to 100 years ago when those brave women made such a difference.
So, in my early life and teenage years I never experienced gender inequality, nothing that sticks in my mind. I did however start to pick up on it when I decided to work in IT, where day after day I would meet men (some in lower ranked jobs than me), implying there was no way I could know more than them or do the job better, which (not to blow my own trumpet) was total bullshit.
BUT I have to say, I have experienced a ridiculous amount of sexism since becoming a mother. It is honestly surprising how many people still believe the mothers role is to be main carer and basically chief cook and bottle washer. The fact that when we told people that Matt and I would have loved to have taken part in shared parenting leave, well quite frankly I thought some people had been sick in their mouths! I am constantly told how lucky I am that Matt is a hands on dad, I would like to bet people don’t tell him how lucky he is that I am a hands on mum…Let’s stamp these attitudes out and keep challenging them!
It’s not all bad though things are changing on that front, and the fact that shared parenting leave has come in at all is a massive step, in recognising the importance of women’s careers and recognising that men want to co parent.
Does anyone follow @thedididad & @dr_rachel_eyre on Instagram? If not you should! They are both breast cancer researchers and shared their parenting leave. The first six months was @dr_rachel_eyre and now it is @thedididad, and his posts are brilliant, they are honest and he gives a lot of praise to mums/dads on maternity leave. However now @dr_rachel_eyre is back at work, she too gives praise to dads who work all day and then come home and get stuck into parenting (however she does note that she still feels that is the easier role). Oh by the way, I should mention they have TWINS! Heroes.
Let’s do what we can, starting with our children
“Here’s to strong women. May we know them. May we be them. May we raise them.”