Today, I joined The Women’s Equality Party, set up by Sandi Toksvig and Catherine Mayer.
Why? Well, I have always been proud to call myself a feminist, in the truest sense of the word: that men and women should be equal. In many places, including the UK, this is not so. If you need persuading, read more details here. I have never joined a political party before, I suppose I have never felt a whole and total allegiance to one particular party and their policies. However, when I saw the launch of The Women’s Equality Party and read about their mission and ideals, I didn’t take much convincing to join. £4 pcm – less than a latte and a slice of cake.
I have taken the liberty of copying their ‘objectives’ from their website:
#WE are pushing for equal representation in politics, business and in working life to ensure women’s voices are heard at the same volume as men’s.
#WE urge an education system that creates opportunities for all children and an understanding of why this matters.
#WE strive for equal treatment of women by and in the media.
#WE are pressing for equal pay and an equal opportunity to thrive.
#WE are campaigning for equal parenting rights and shared responsibilities at home to give everyone equal opportunities both in family life and in the work place.
#WE seek an end to violence against women.
Nothing I disagree with there and I would be interested to talk to someone who does disagree with any one of these objectives.
I know I am generalising, but I think that much of society, both men and women, don’t realise how indoctrinated sexism is within our society. Things like when you graduate from university, you gain a bachelor degree, or a masters. Both traditionally male terminology. Things like getting comments and whistled at – not so much now, but as a teenager, I remember always bracing myself to walk past a building site, being unsure how to react to the comments – if I looked cross or ignored them, I ‘d get told to ‘lighten up'; if I forced a smile, just to make it easier to get past, I’d get asked out on a date. Why was the onus on ME on how I should react to THEM? Men can walk down the road topless and not expect to get assaulted or raped because of it; I’m sure it would be a different story for a woman.
I know this is all stuff that has been said before, but the point is, it doesn’t change and there are many more (and worse) examples to corroborate the situation. This is why I am so glad that an official political party has been formed to address and action these imbalances. Society won’t change overnight, but it can change – I really believe it can. We’ve seen suffragettes, Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Mother Teresa…all making change happen. Regular people, changing the world for the better. I want to be a part of that and this is why I have joined The Women’s Equality Party.