For me, blogging is a feminist act: it has given me a voice. It has enabled me to explore my feelings as a stay-at-home mum. It wasn’t my mission behind my blog. I didn’t set out to write about this patriarchal society we live in. However, being the mum to two girls, the inequality of our society is something that troubles me. England has its second female Prime Minister. Whilst I am pleased by this, I can’t help but feel that it is also a woman doing what is expected of her, clearing up a man’s mess. Let’s face it, that is one of the roles a lot of us women have to play. At home, in the boardroom, and now in Number 10. So, is the fact that Teresa May is now Prime Minister a reason to be joyous? Or, is it a somewhat hollow victory? She was simply the last wo(man) standing, the only one willing to clear up this dreadful mess. Although it is great that Teresa May is Prime Minster, there is still a long way to go. A female Prime Minister should not be a rarity. It should not provoke sexist headlines that focus on the length of her skirt, or what type of heels she is wearing today.
I don’t want my girls growing up in a society that thinks it is ok to pass comment on what our female Prime Minister is wearing. I would rather the media was focussing on the job that the Prime Minister has to do and whether those tasks are being undertaken in a capable manner. Our media is inherently sexist;that is one of the reasons for my blog. I am a parent and a feminist. Before I blogged, I felt that my voice had been swallowed whole by motherhood; the only thing I was qualified to talk about was nappies, sleep patterns and eating habits. This was a myth that was partly perpetuated by the media. However, I am qualified to talk about a whole host of things. I am qualified to talk about parenting, I am also qualified to tell and show my daughters what a feminist is; how it is possible to be a stay-at-home mum and a feminist.
I’m a feminist blogger because I don’t perpetuate the sickening myth that a stay-at-home mum should keep the perfect house. I’m a feminist blogger because I show it all. I tell the world about my parenting failures, I am vocal in the challenges I face in being a stay-at-home mum, I also tell the world that I don’t always agree with Mr C. Yes, I come under the term of a “mummy” blogger but, as someone told me recently, that is a disservice to us mummy bloggers. I blog but I don’t just blog about being a parent. I blog about a whole host of subjects. My thoughts on Brexit, my anger at Michael Gove, my dismay at the education system. I also blog fairly frequently about feminism. Yes, I might share my funny stories of parenting, I might like the pretty interior posts and I might like to bake, occasionally. However, this doesn’t make me just another mummy blogger. Yes, by the very nature of my role, I am going to talk about my domestic life and my parental concerns. However, that isn’t my whole life and I refuse to be put into the box of stay-at-home mum. I refuse to let society’s expectations and beliefs hold me back. I refuse to be confined.
I am a mummy and I am incredibly proud of that. But being a mum isn’t all that I am. For a while there, it did feel like I was a mum, and only a mum. That’s why I turned to blogging. Blogging is a feminist act because it has empowered me. It allows me to have my voice heard in the public arena. Yes, this has its downsides, I have been trolled and I have been on the receiving end of some nasty vitriol. But that’s not going to stop me; if anything it is going to make me more determined to write, more determined to get my voice heard. I have found myself challenging the stereotypes of motherhood. I found myself ranting about the gender stereotypes of toys and clothes, and the expectations society places upon girls and how they behave. I find myself angry at the competition that seems to exist between some stay-at-home mums, and who has the most saccharine lives. I refuse to let my blog be put in a box. I don’t have a niche and I don’t care. I blog from the heart: I blog about what I believe in. This blog happens to sometimes show the real side of parenting, the one that involves Youngest doing a poo in the sea. As an aside note, I like to think this was her feminist act, her moment of rebellion, her flicking of the Vs at society. I like to think that she was thinking
“Who says that little girls are sweetness and light? I want a dump and I going to do one, right now, right here, in the sea. Toilets are so last year”
My blog is real. It’s not pretending to be perfect. Life isn’t perfect. I might live in a beautiful island but it is an island that has left me struggling to find my place, my role, my identity. My blog helps. Yes, I might not be able to sign my own tax returns but at least I have a voice again. Often feminism is over simplified, we are told that it is just about equality, and yes that is part of it but it isn’t all of it. Feminism can mean different things to different people. For me, at this point in time, feminism is about liberation. This blog has cut through society’s shackles: I no longer feel constrained. I am chipping away at the patriarchal constraints. I might not always be the perfect mother but I’m good enough. I’m surviving and, to be honest, some days that feels the very best I can hope for. This doesn’t make me a bad feminist; some days it’s about keeping your head down and powering through. I’m still smashing those doors down, regardless of my gender. I’m still shouting to be heard, that’s why blogging is my feminist act.
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