Look, I’m a humour-based writer by trade and by choice (At least I hope people find humour in most of it) but there are some things that never fail to make my soul burn with rage, like people who think feminism is not really needed in the West as much any more. OH PLEASE. All you need to do is follow the likes of @EverydaySexism to see we still have a long way to go.
But here’s a bit of a story from me. I’ve many more, but this one sticks in my mind above all else.
In addition to writing, I’m also a singer/songwriter who’s travelled around Europe and gigged a lot. When I’m not threatened with rape because I reject some gobshite’s advances IN THE MIDDLE OF ME SINGING A SONG (i.e doing my fucking job) in a Greek bar while the bar manager looks over and shrugs his shoulders and leaves me to defend myself (I’m 4ft 9), THEN maybe I’ll start to believe more in the changing global attitudes towards women.
This was in Europe guys, and not a million years ago either (Summer of ’99). I was lucky enough to be playing with a friend (also female) to a lovely mannerly bunch of Marines, who stepped up when I started screaming like a premenstrual banshee at the man who threatened and intimidated me, and threw that fuckmuppet out of the pub.
I just wanted to sing and entertain with my friend who was my music partner and my best friend, and we always felt safer gigging together. All I got in return from a punter was a lot of inappropriate touching. For a finish, after repeatedly telling him to either stop or ‘fuck the fuck off’ (I AM from Limerick after all), I then received a whispered genuine threat of sexual assault in my ear as I was singing a song.
The bar manager’s response? Get him more drink, it’ll calm him down. (In an unusual move, it didn’t.) A bunch of Marines who didn’t like would-be rapists brought him outside, along with a few well-placed kicks, which eventually calmed him down and did the job instead. God bless the Marines.
Nowadays, I gig in Ireland all the time, where it’s safer and the majority of men are gents. I play alone and have never felt safer. There’s a community of musicians that mind each other like family, and the bars are some of the safest and most fun places to be. I love gigging in Limerick. But if anyone goes on about feminism in a sneery way; like we don’t need some sort of consciousness to be raised in this side of the world, it just makes me sad. They’ve no fucking idea.
You don’t need live in the Middle East or Darkest Africa to experience fear just because of your gender. As long as there is some sort of mistreatment of somebody simply based on the fact that they’re a woman, I’m going to call myself a feminist, because that stuff is something I’m not okay with.
I’m also very lucky to know a lot of men around me who consider themselves feminists too. You’re all fantastic men, and I wish more would join your ranks and stop subscribing the old adage that being a feminist means hating men. How is that helpful in the move towards wanting respect for all human beings regardless of ANY difference between us??
Let’s take back the word Feminism and equate it with the words Equality and Love, and there you have it. A movement every decent human being can get behind.
That’s my two cents anyway.
Thanks for reading, everybody.
#yestoallwomen #YesToEquality #YesToUnity #YesToLove #MenAreFeministsTooYouKnow #MarinesRule