Sunday, July 3, 2011

The Post I Thought I'd Never Write

Given that this is the 4th time I started writing this post, the title is fitting in more ways than one. But really, I never thought I'd write a post about feminism but there you go, life is full of surprises.

Despite feminism seeming to be one of those issues that's everywhere at the moment, when I had a moment of helplessness earlier today, the moment I realised there was a problem with the boiler and my dad (who usually deals with the boiler, the fuse box and the gas meter) was in another country, I surprised myself when feminism was the issue that suddenly sprang to mind.

For those of you who are new to Chloe Likes To Talk, the majority of my friends are male, and love them as I do, they forget sometimes that I am in fact female. Their cries of  "You're such a *GIRL* sometimes" that ring out when I mention shoes or pick up a copy of Elle are actually a compliment. I like it that they consider me one of them rather than always taking my gender into account. But when I rang The Guy about said boiler problem, my first words were "sorry, I'm being a complete girl but..."

I'm reasonably intelligent, capable, educated and independent young woman but should I feel bad about asking one either of the men in my life to help me out with something I'm pretty unfamiliar with? I've never really considered myself a feminist- don't get me wrong I believe in equal opportunities but I don't have a problem with hairdryers or bras- you'd be hard pushed to persuade me to burn mine. But does having to ask my dad or The Guy for help put an end to any right to call myself a believer in equality or feminism?

I've been thinking about this (and having a shower since the boiler issues prevented that this morning) most of the day and still haven't really come to a proper conclusion. On the one hand, I asked my dad/The Guy for help not purely because they're male, but because my dad usually deals with these things and because The Guy works in kitchen design and sometimes helps out fitting kitchens, therefore boilers are something he has far more experience with than I do. It's fair enough to ask for help from time to time we all need it, it doesn't make me any more or less of a person. On the other hand, it's such a stereotype to be the ditzy girl who can't work out how the boiler functions (or not in this instance!). And worse still, the stereotype of the well educated woman who has no idea about the real world. I was having horrible visions of having to call the plumber and then finding out it was just a case of hitting a switch and getting that horrible disdainful look that says more than enough to make you feel small, inadequate and a bit thick.

What do you guys think? Modern feminist in the making or behind the times and beholden to the men in my life? And am I encouraging the stereotypes by being afraid of what people will think? This I want to hear...

And for a particularly relevant piece on feminism (and in all honesty, probably the reason feminism was on my radar when this issue arose) check out Jen at A Little Bird Told Me and her take on Feminism and The Fashion Blogger


Francesca said...

i'd ask my dad things like that for sure because he actually has the knowledge and expertise. it has nothing to do with gender lol. feminists are so annoying when they think that a man giving up a seat on the bus for a lady is degrading. um, no it's not! it's just called manners! xx opinionslave

Unknown said...

A feminist is someone who believes that men and women should be treated equally regardless of gender. In my mind if you believe that it makes you a feminist, whether you can fix a boiler or not has nothing to do with it!

I'd also disagree with Francesca's comment above too - being a feminist isn't about getting cross if someone offers you a seat, it is anout giving up *your* seat to anyone who looks like they need it more than you, man or woman!

Rachel said...

I agree with Harriet. Feminism for me is about equality and not a lot else. I don't see a problem with asking a man to help if you've had a go but don't understand/can't fix it. The thing that encourages stereotypes is when women don't try to do things for themselves and just play the dumb damsel in distress.x

Unknown said...

Sorry, I may have got a bit riled up in my comment - feminism always does that to me!

You might be interested to know though that the idea of feminists burning bras is largely a myth! Something I only fouind out recently too:

Maria Fallon said...

I believe in equality so I would say I am a feminist! I think there are so many negative connotations attached to that word though that many people will not ever classify themselves as a feminist...interesting post though!

Maria xxx

The Cat Hag said...

Hmmm well I would say I believe in equal rights for females but hehe whenever I can give tasks to the BF to do instead of me, I am a very happy girl. :)

You look so cute in your striped top and lip tint in the previous post. ♥

The Cat Hag