Tonight I’m so pleased to share my first interview with a guy who calls himself a feminist (see, I told you they exist)! Gareth, a blogger and father, is a great guy on Twitter so I asked him a few questions about what Feminism means to him, enjoy!
I guess I should introduce myself… I’m not really good at starting these guest post things… My name’s Gareth, the guy behind That Marketing Punk. I’m a first time Dad to a wonderful (if incredibly energetic) daughter, who has classified himself as a feminist for a very long time. So, when Chloe said that she would be interested to get my thoughts about feminism as a guy, it seemed like a great idea.
So, shall we get on with it?
What does the word Feminism mean to you?
Ok, so we know that feminism has a different meaning to almost everyone. But for me, it is about absolute equality, both in life, work and home. To me, as a Dad to an amazing daughter, feminism is about my daughter being able to have the life that she wants to do.
In terms of work life, there shouldn’t be a glass ceiling anywhere, for anyone. No matter your sex or gender, you should be able to do whatever job you want to do.
In terms of home life, there shouldn’t be any preconceived notions about who plays what role. In fact, I believe that there shouldn’t be any predefined roles in the first place… Terms like “housewife” are, to me, outdated – they put women into a role that has already been decided for them.
Instead of being classified by these roles, both men and women should share everything equally… From raising the kids to smaller things like looking after the house, no one sex or gender should be told that it is their “role” to do those things.
When did you decide you identified as a feminist?
Honestly, I think it was when I was a teenager… Maybe 15? You see, I’d grown up in a single parent household, and my Mum had worked really hard to get our life sorted out. And she’d done really well! I had a very comfortable life. But, it was never easy for her. She had changed jobs almost every year for a while, simply because her thoughts and ideas were being brushed aside for those that men had come up with. There were even times when her suggestions were ignored, but then if they were repeated by a man, they were accepted.
My Mum could have been far more successful at her career if she were a man, and that really hit me hard… Especially since, even at that time, I knew I wanted a daughter when I was older. I thought about it, and what it would mean for my future daughter (if I had one) to grow up in a world like that. And I knew how unfair it was…
This was then further compounded by the way girls at school, and those who identified as girls were treated by the male teachers. Some were gazed at as if they were just there to be attractive decorations, whilst others were overlooked constantly when the teachers would ask questions of the class.
Whilst I hope that it wasn’t the case, to my teenage mind it seemed like they were deliberately being pushed aside so that the boys could get the better education. The female teachers did none of this, however… Just a select few of the male teachers (who are no longer teaching at that school, I might add).
I guess my final thoughts are that there’s still a long way to go, simply because the world isn’t equal yet. But the problem is, inequality has become so ingrained in society now.
I honestly don’t know what else we can do, without somehow hitting a magical reset button. The only light I can see is that, as the younger generations grow up in a world where we are fighting for equality, they are starting to fight too. So when they grow into adulthood and inherit what we leave behind, hopefully, the future will be a far better place for everyone.
So, for now, I guess my answer is to keep fighting for equality and teaching our children about it. That way, with patience and time, maybe we’ll be able to finally have an equal world.
Thank you so much, Gareth, for this brilliant post. If you’d like to be a part of Feminist Fridays please contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org I’d love to hear from you!