I agree with your last two paragraphs especially though which is why I do identify as a feminist, but the pay inequality just always gets in the way of things like your last point which I wholeheartedly agree with.
I haven't fully read the document @FearlessLeader posted however the first page with the images showing the gap isn't enough to convince me of an obvious 'let's pay women less' situation. I've acknowledge that it can and does happen but not to the extent some claim. Unfortunately the media focus more on this side of things where many people can and do pick holes in the stats, but there absolutely should be more of a focus on attitudes towards women and the roll on effects such as DV, rape etc.
As to swapping, if they are on similar pays then what would be the point? they would be the same financially. If she desperately wanted to work for non financial reasons then yes, that would be a great option.
As Chyka in desperate housewives of Melbourne says - "You can have everything, just not at the same time". But then she is in a very equal relationship unlike many of the other women on there. Surely they can't identify as feminists!?
Yes, I'd definitely call myself a feminist for all the reasons @FearlessLeader has laid out.
It appears to me that we are set up to expect women to be the primary caregiver in a family unit and this feels really antiquated and unfair to me. Not unfair because as a mother I'm expected to put my career on hold to raise children, but that there is more support for women to do so. My partner would dearly love to have more time off to spend with our LO, but our employer only gives two weeks paternity leave to my 14 weeks maternity leave. (I realise we are lucky to get this at all).
Its ts not an obvious 'let's pay women less' situation. No one suggests that it is. Instead it is a complex issue where many factors give men more opportunities than women. I've mentioned quite a few of those reasons so I don't want to repeat myself again.
i really strongly disagree that the pay disparity is an issue that gets in the way of other issues. For lots of reasons- it has huge implications on what women then choose in other ways. Eg- if a woman is more likely to be paid less than her partner (which she is by a long way, taking into account that women are paid less than their male counterparts, AND the fact that women work more in industries with lower pay) then it puts the couple in a position where it just makes more financial sense for the woman to take time off to care for kids. That's the position my family is in. It doesn't make financial sense for my partner (who works in a male dominated industry) to take time off, but it does for me to. This isnt our choice. We would prefer that we both worked 4 days.
lt also feeds directly into mind sets that create DV and sexual violence situations- women are seen as lesser. It creates a situation where women can become financially dependant on her male partner, which makes it very hard to leave. I could go on all day. It's all connected. It is all part of a system that has set up gender roles and attributes and then proclaimed that ONE gender's roles and attributes are superior.
How many times on here do we read that men don't 'help' with the kids? That they 'can't' cook, that they don't clean? This is because they have learned that it is women's work and they as men are too good for it.
How many stories of husbands saying that their wife has it easy being home with the kids and that he actually 'works' all day. This is because the patriarchy teaches us that being a breadwinner is manly work and very important, while child care is lowly women's work.
How many stories of women who desperately want to leave their abusive (or just plain nasty/cheating/whatever) husbands but don't think they will be financially able to. This is because the patriarchy sets up a system in which men earn much more than women, because they are superior in a multitude of ways, meaning that women are financially dependent on their male partners.
its all important. We can't ask 'I wonder why men keep attacking women so violently?' Without looking at the system that tells them their whole lives that they are better and worth more than us.
I'm pretty passionate about this topic. Yes, I 100% identify as a feminist.
To me, it's not about being equal to men. Men are not the standard. It's about women's liberation from a system that continually pushes us down and tells us we are not good enough. I don't want to be "equal" to men. I don't want the ability to abuse my power to hurt others and, in some cases, be praised for it. I want to be treated as a human being. I want to be seen as valuable and good enough. And basically everything that @FearlessLeader said because I can't be bothered typing that much even though I have so much to say
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