… Even if it doesn’t always feel that way.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll no doubt know all about all the BS that’s going on in the world of gender inequality. From unequal pay to far too many sexual harassment stories and accusations, it’s enough to frustrate any enlightened human being. There’s been numerous occasions where I’d rather sit in silence than listen to the news and I’ve definitely found myself muting the radio on my way to work, purely because of the frustration I feel that in the 21st century, this kind of behaviour is still deemed acceptable by some of the most powerful people in the world.
With more stories and experiences coming to light everyday, it’s easy to see why so many women are frustrated with the situation in what is meant to be an enlightened and equal country.
But, it’s also easy to see that ladies are speaking out and finding their voices, now more than ever. This makes me so proud. So, rant aside, I’ve been thinking about some of the best things about being a lady in the 21st century.
Being allowed to choose
Take it back a few hundred years and everything a woman did was dictated by her husband/ father/ any remotely connected male relative. Whether it’s your clothing, your makeup, your career or your partner, women today have it so much better when it comes to the choices available to us. Yes, there is still stigma around women choosing their careers over their families. And that sucks. But, with changing attitudes, it’s getting easier for women to choose BOTH. As an educated woman with a career I love but with family values still close to my heart, this is something that I consider pretty damn important.
The whole body positivity movement is kind of a big deal. ICYMI, women are beginning to embrace their natural bodies and stick thin magazine idols are becoming a thing of the past. Whilst these ladies are beautiful in their own right, it’s high time all types of beauty took to the stage. And this is not just for the women of today. As a little girl and a teenager, I was so scared that I looked fat and it’s only in the last few years that I’ve started to embrace my “thunder thighs”. And I know I’m not the only one who experienced this. Little girls shouldn’t grow up to be ashamed of their bodies, and it’s so refreshing to see all body types being celebrated on social media, in magazines and even in children’s toys (just look at Barbie if you need further evidence). With everything from #StrongNotSkinny to #DareToWear taking over Instagram, now’s really the time to celebrate everybody and every body.
Opportunities to excel
Take this one with a pinch of salt, because we’ve still got a way to go. But, 21st century women get to enjoy so much more acceptance than they did even 100 years ago. Women now have the opportunities to pave the way in the careers and industries they choose, with less fear of being considered out of place or unqualified for the job. Just look at the Hillary Clintons, Oprahs and Emma Watsons of the world.
There was a time when schools and universities were solely a male domain, whilst girls and women were restricted to the “domestic arts”. Of course, there’s a place for everything, but the fact that women can now choose to get an education in exactly the same institutions as men, is yet another stepping stone on the way to equality.
Let’s face it, women today have so many avenues to express themselves. It doesn’t matter how we do it; blogs like this, art, they way we choose to look and the platforms that are available to us, there’s so many ways in which we can truly own our thoughts, opinions, looks and voices. And there’s nothing more important than that.