So, recently we had International Women's Day! (Yay to us!)
This was, as always, greeted by some with the usual rolling of the eyes, the classic 'Where's International Men's Day??' (19th November actually) , or the ever so lovely 'what do you need a special day for?'
Not that we really have to justify it, I think it speaks for itself, but I have found that over the last few years my inner feminist is being woken. Maybe its because I'm older, or because I now have a daughter.. who knows, but I do find myself pondering a lot more about us females.
So....the other night we were watching 'The Affair', which, if you haven't seen it, get watching!!! Its A-mazing and SO clever.
Anyway.... there was this scene with a male teacher and a female Pupil and, I can't remember the exact words, but basically the teacher asked the pupil if she really felt intimidated in his class.
Her reply, was a simple laugh followed by 'I'm a woman, I always feel intimidated'.
This kind of floored me. Something so simple and it was like a bloody Eureka! moment!!
I just thought, oh my god she is totally right!
Yes, we do... we totally do!! Why had this never occurred to me before?? Why was I only just coming to this conclusion now? I'm 36! I've been a woman for 36 years, surely it can't be that big a deal then if I haven't even really noticed.... can it?
Well the truth is, it wasn't so much that I hadn't noticed it, it was more that I had just accepted it.
I accepted the fact that in certain situations I would feel intimidated, because I was a woman.
Think about it though. All those job interviews, driving lessons or doctors appointments, when you have been greeted with a male face? All those taxi rides, on your own, late at night? The solo train journeys where you have had to sit next to a bunch of drunk lads on their way to a football game? All those wolf whistles in the street while you were going about your own business?
How did these situations make you feel?
Suddenly aware of your female vulnerability no doubt.
I'm not saying that a bloke wouldn't be intimidated on a train full of drunk women on a hen do, of course they would, I just wonder if it would be to the same... degree? Would the same scenarios be running through their head?
If my husband gets a cab home from a night out, does he suddenly start to sober up when he realises he is the last drop off? Does he look for his keys and his phone and make sure they are in his hand... just in case?!
No he does not, he continues to ram his takeaway chicken down his neck and talk utter nonsense to the driver.
The other night I went to my friends for dinner. Its a 15 minute walk away. Fine during the day but after dark.... on your own? Seemed a bit.... risky?
Now I know that I am slightly paranoid, have watched FAR too many horror films and sometimes my imagination runs WILD, but.... I just really didn't fancy the walk home on my own. Believe me we deliberated about 20 different ways of getting me home, and in the end we decided I would just drive and not drink!
However.....had this been my husband, it would not have even been an issue. He would have walked round to his friends, had too many beers and walked home, Job done.
Now, before everyone gets all hot under the collar, I am not saying that men don't ever feel threatened, or that they would never get attacked, or that they are not vulnerable. That's not what this is about. I am well aware that both men and women are at risk, at some point.
This is merely my musings, provoked by a simple statement from a TV show, and something I have thought a lot about since.
I don't think there is any 'solution' to this little issue. I think that unfortunately, this is the way things are and this is how it will probably always be.
I would like to say that this vulnerability, and this softness of ours should be cherished and celebrated. It should be, and by some it is, but by others it will always be something to take advantage of, to control, and to ruin, and it is because of those people, that us women will always, always be a little bit 'on guard'.
Remind them that sometimes, it is hard, to be a woman.