|Germaine Greer, at 1960s|
To begin with I’ve never thought about feminism seriously. Moreover, I don’t remember that any male oppressed or humiliated me somehow because of my gender. And even if it happened I don’t think I noticed that at all. This issue simply didn’t feature on my list of problems, and maybe that’s why all I ever heard about feminist movement seemed ridiculous to me. Do you remember those anecdotes about women who cause a scandal if a man gives up a bus seat for them or suggests paying in a cafe? Isn’t it clear that all feminists are nothing but aggressive lesbians who just were not lucky to find a proper man? And yes, they all are from USA, just because all evil comes from there.
|Gloria Steinem, at 1960s|
A few days ago I came across an interesting article in a local magazine. It was about Germaine Greer, who is coming to New Zealand this month. Greer is seventy-three years old and she is a university professor in Australia. She used to be extremely popular in 60s-70s and is known as one of the pioneering feminists. In short, the article is about the impact on New Zealand females that Greer had years ago. There were also some pictures of her in younger days. And to my surprise, there was nothing in common with an aggressive lesbian in her appearance. She is a beautiful and well-dressed woman with intelligence, confidence and courage in her face, the kind of woman I’ve always admired and wanted to be. That was enough to inspire me to learn more about her.
|Germaine Greer, nowadays|
I found and watched several interviews with Germaine Greer and one of her public lectures. I also got information about another famous feminist of that time Gloria Steinem, from USA. Finally, I took up this theme with Pat, who is always interested and enthusiastic about discussing any kind of 'ism' all over the world. As a result, not surprisingly my attitude towards that issue has totally changed.
There are those who say that if a woman wants equality between male and female why doesn’t she go to the army or work in the mining industry. Others are protesting: who is going to raise children or do housework? Lastly, some people enjoy giving examples of successful business women who are very unhappy, lonely and long for nothing else but a simple life with a man who would love them and take care of them. That, undoubtedly, sounds very persuasive but has nothing to do with what I like about feminism.
|Gloria Steinem, nowadays|
My personal view is that in the end all feminism is about choice. Everything that Greer, Steinem and all those feminists were fighting for was a free choice that any woman had to be able to make herself. And it doesn’t matter at all if she wants to become a housewife, follow a career or combine both. Actually, it’s much more important to get rid of stereotypes. Learn to listen to yourself, and not only to society around you. Finally, have confidence that your government and country will support you anyway. Do we achieve that nowadays? Are the ideas of feminism not important for us anymore?
Talking about Germaine Greer, Gloria Steinem said what she valued in her was her daring – ‘so rare in women because we’re so trained to be concerned about approval’. It is hard not to agree, especially in relation to females in general. However, as long as there are such examples around us as these beautiful women there is always inspiration and hope for change.