I am a fan of flowers and romance. I am not going to lie, I do dream of handsome men surprising me at work with bouquets of red roses, and boxes of chocolates. ( I like pralines and truffles and ones with nuts. Just in case anyone wants to know.) I have never had this experience however. I am twenty-four Goddamn it! Twenty-freaking-four! And I have never actually had this experience! How sad is that? Any relationships I have had have conveniently fell gracefully around the sides of St. Valentine’s Day, before and after, never on.
More to the point though I find myself thinking that there must be millions of women in the world in a similar situation. Millions of women who consider themselves strong and independent. Feminist even! I myself am one of them. Could it be that men are slightly cautious when it comes to showering the independent woman with Valentine’s surprises? Do they err on the side of caution, in case they offend our feminist sides?
I am most definitely running the risk of piling the blame for my bitterness, for never having received a descent bunch of flowers, on the entire male population. I realise this. Nonetheless, it does seem to be a common misconception, regarding women with feminist ideals, that they eschew all things female. They in essence want to be male; having nothing to do with such chivalrous, demeaning, acts as flower-buying and chocolate-giving.
Of course this is untrue!
Feminism is entirely subjective. A lot of women who may consider themselves to be a feminist would not protest at such a thing as a door being opened for them by a princely male. Though being a feminist can be that to some women. Like I said – it is subjective. It is constantly being re-defined.
The younger generations of women may have different ideals to the suffragettes who threw themselves in front of horses all those years ago… we have reached another level in feminism you could say. Now it can vary widely. There is not just one kind – the Victorian/Edwardian power-mad woman who is willing to do die to get the vote for her gender. We now have the vote. The pill. Equal pay (pretty much). Thus we can have a multitude of attitudes towards what feminism is now…
That varitey is deeply beautiful.
It means we have arrived. We are not just on this planet to be the Eve to God’s Adam. We are here of our own accord! For ourselves! Not just to belong to the men of this world. Though it is perfectly fine for women who want to belong to their man – we have that choice now.
In politics, for instance, the Labour party have a policy of women-only shortlists for the choosing of a candidate to replace female MP’s that have left, stepped down, or whatever. I, personally, do not agree with this. I think this positive-discrimination is unnecessary and patronising – we can compete against men after all! This is a variety in opinion regarding the role of feminism in today’s society, which is fine. We can beg to differ! Choice is ours, and with equal rights comes difference in opinion.
At the end of the day, feminism does not have to be about women being better than men, or women wanting to be like men. It just means we embrace equality and diversity.
Therefore it does not mean that we do not want flowers!
We can be feminist. We can be independent. We can be strong. We can still enjoy being the fairer sex!
I like applying make-up. I like wearing heels. I like looking pretty. I shave on a
pretty regular basis. If there is something to be lifted then let a bloke do it by all means. (I am probably stronger than the bloke but that is besides the point.) I am feminist and I enjoy being a feminine woman.
So please… to all the guys out there for whom this may apply. Be brave. Be chivalrous. Grow a pair and buy us some bloody flowers!