• Éadaoin Fitzmaurice

Why Do I Feel Like A Wagon For Being A Feminist?

I grew up thinking that "feminist" was a dirty word.



In my imagination, a feminist was a woman who paraded on the streets showing off her hairy armpits and screaming at men.


Feminists like this do exist of course, but so do many others - the boss ass bitch who runs her own company, the girl who questions why her male colleagues are treated better in the workplace, the mother who wants equal opportunity for her children.


A few weeks back my best friend, who is a woman, turned to me and said that she's not a feminist. It was the first time ever that hearing something like that made my stomach churn a little.


I grew up in a small town. I attended an even smaller school. Growing up I never felt like I was less because I was a woman. My Mam was my principal in school and she was respected by all regardless of her gender. She inspired me to be my own boss lady and conquer the world.


When I turned eighteen, I went to college and started to notice a shift. The "lads" were held on a pedestal. When I ran for a committee position for a society, two men were elected and I was left doing the work in the background. I left college and witnessed men getting ahead in work, being paid higher than me, treated better and respected more.


I began reading, listening to podcasts and realised this was an experience many other women had faced.


Feminism is something you become after being pushed aside one too many times.


This is the first time I've ever publicly announced: I am a feminist.


Feminism means that both sexes are 100% equal in every strand of life - political, economic, personal, and social.


For a women to say she is not a feminist means she agrees with being considered as less.


So why do women say they aren't feminists and why do I stray away from telling people I am one?


It goes right back to that image I thought of as a kid, the radical feminist. When I talk about feminism I feel eyes roll and interest being lost, I feel like a wagon.


With International Women's Day fast-approaching, I really want to create conversation. I want to speak about feminism openly without feeling like I'm preaching.


I want to live in a world where I don't feel like I have to prove myself more than my male colleagues. I want to be treated, respected and paid fairly. I want to go to a shoot without a joke being made that "I thought you'd be a guy, there's very few talented female videographers".


I don't want to feel this difference.


That shouldn't be too hard to change, right?


The first step is in you - Let's talk about it. Leave a comment below on why you consider yourself to be a feminist.