What IS Feminism?

What does the term ‘feminist’ conjour up for you?

Again …prompted to writing by another blog I am following ‘Shake Your Conscience’ and Imrans latest post which has set my brain coggs whirring:D:D

And again …not researched or pre written and amended …just my own rambling thoughts

OK …..So a good place to start might be a little about my family heritage ….

My Great Grandparents on my Mothers side were migrants from Ireland ….Great Grandfather was a ‘Delver’ in the stone quarries and was killed in an explosion ( this was common in this industry at the time apparantly )

ANYWAY it left my Great Grandmother widowed with 2 daughters in tow …..at THAT time the only option was to sign in to the notorious ‘workhouse’ which was prevailant in the UK at the time ….

HOWEVER …my Great Grandmother had relatives who worked ‘in service’ at a place called Coley Hall ….I think they may have been tenant farmers or something ….I’m not 100% sure ….but they apparantly hid my grandmother and the girls untill they got on their feet …my great grandmother and the 2 girls eventually securing work in a local textile mill called Selkers …..fortunately this was a smallish family run mill which looked after their workforce ….quality rented accommodation etc ….the story goes that just before  ww1 Mr Selker was imprisoned as an ‘enemy of the state’ because he was a German Jew and conscientious  objector (it doesn’t sound right that does it ….but that’s what I was told)

ANYWAY Alice ( the eldest of the girls who was just a teenager at the time) had been trained up in office and admin skills and apparantly more or less ran the mill  untill Mr Selkers release from prison and her subsequent marriage to my grandfather( and no …unfortunately I have NOT inherited any of her organisational skills:D:D)

So …I guess this is a little insight into my background ….I never knew Alice or my maternal grandfather as they passed long before I was born ….I DID have a very close relationship with Emma tho, the youngest of the 2 daughters and my great aunt.

Emma eventually married herself and there is an incredibly romantic story re how she met her husband which I might blog about at some point ….suffice to say they were the most AMAZING couple to be around ….no children of their own ….but a true partnership ….very warm, caring and hilariously funny …..very much loved and central figures in the family …they both lived well into their 80’s ….Emma passing within months of Alf despite being fit and well up to that point:(

Anyway …..I’m digressing

Suffice to say …..Emma used to tell me stories of her mother and Alice. Including the feminist and socialist movements that they got involved with ..she instilled in me that I must ALWAYS use my democratic right to vote as it was a privelage that had been hard fought for….their generation would be DISMAYED at today’s political apathy …oops digressing again

So what does feminism mean?

Well it does NOT mean anti men

But it DOES mean women having the same RIGHTS as men ….at the very least the rights to the same education, healthcare, workers rights, be able to live free from abuse and equal as citizens.

In an ideal world men should be feminists too ….just like you didn’nt have to be black to support the black civil rights movement in the US or anti apartheid in South Africa

I guess what puts people off the term ‘feminism’ is that often women have HAD to adopt masculine traits to ensure their voices are heard …..deemed ‘militant’ and ‘aggressive’

I personally have nothing against women being ‘home makers’ and men being ‘providers’ if worked as a ‘partnership’ and NOT as a means of subjugation …..an excersise of power and control …..and I DO believe the extended family is the ideal environment for raising children where possible ….the TRUTH is tho that for various reasons there is often no ‘choice’ in the matter and women (mostly) but occaisionally men, find they HAVE to just get on with it and try to do their best in situations that are not ideal.

Hmmmmmmm ….but at least folk going it alone are not locked up in the ‘workhouse’ anymore……YET!!!:D:D

Hmmmmm ……further things I can think of blogging about are ‘bringing up boys’ ..current ‘social cleansing’ otherwise known as ‘gentrification’ PARTICULARLY in London …….and maybe a series called ‘My Family And Other Animals’ the title in homage to one of my favorite books as a kid:)

Oh ….and do I consider myself a ‘feminist’?

Well being female I couldn’t NOT do:)

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