Shout out the ‘f’ word for all women

Stand by the fem­i­nist cause and ba­sic hu­man rights

Life & Style Weekend - - YOU - More at www.he­len­hawkes.org BE­TWEEN THE SHEETS with He­len Hawkes

Yes there’s the ‘f’ word again and one that you’ll hear a lot about dur­ing the new pres­i­dent’s term of of­fice, guar­an­teed.

WHILE nor­mally this col­umn is de­signed to bring a slice of hu­mour to sex­ual pol­i­tics, I can’t let this tu­mul­tuous week for women world­wide – and, make no mis­take, for men ev­ery­where – pass with­out com­ment. And on be­half of my girl­friends, our moth­ers, our sis­ters and our daugh­ters, I feel I need to put on my pink pants.

As Don­ald Trump took power, women glob­ally came out in force to de­clare them­selves fem­i­nists, “nasty” women, god­desses, bitches and what­ever other word has been used for women in what has be­come a gen­der war, the rip­ples of which are echo­ing in ev­ery western coun­try.

In a day of na­tion­wide ral­lies in the United States, as well as protests in Aus­tralia, celebri­ties in­clud­ing Ash­ley Judd, Madonna and Scar­lett Jo­hanssen, as well as fem­i­nist icon Glo­ria Stein­hem, and ac­tivist Michael Moore stood up for women’s rights that are hu­man rights, as did mil­lions of women – and men.

You might be won­der­ing what this means for you, right here, right now. Well, like the for­mer pres­i­dent Barack Obama, and the many men pho­tographed at the ral­lies, if you are a man you would do your part­ner, girl­friend, and women ev­ery­where a ser­vice by now declar­ing your­self a fem­i­nist. Yes, we are us­ing the f word, and I sug­gest that you do too, if you know which side of the bed your slip­pers are on.

Trump’s pro­pos­als to de­fund Planned Par­ent­hood, which pro­vides con­tra­cep­tive and health ad­vice, his moves to­wards re­strict­ing abor­tion rights, and his at­ti­tude to­wards women as sex sym­bols or pros­ti­tutes, are the stuff of women’s night­mares. As women, it is a re­minder of just how far we have come since our place was at home, and how quickly some of our hard-fought wins may be elim­i­nated. It’s a bit hard to joke about that.

Like Ash­ley Judd, I would like to de­clare my­self a “nasty” woman. I don’t be­lieve that be­ing a woman means you have to be sub­servient, a sex sym­bol, a tool of chau­vin­is­tic males for grat­i­fi­ca­tion or a hu­man be­ing with­out opin­ions or, in­deed, rights over your own body. I also hap­pen to think women can put out their own garbage, bury a dead an­i­mal and do a grease and oil change them­selves, although I’m not say­ing it isn’t great when men of­fer to do it in­stead.

But, more im­por­tantly, I’d de­clare my­self and all the women I know “god­desses”. In their beauty, their fem­i­nin­ity, their strength, their com­pas­sion, their abil­ity to be both moth­ers and work­ers, their sen­su­al­ity and their sex­u­al­ity, women ev­ery­where em­body the sa­cred. Wor­ship at our feet, if you like, but just wor­ship­ping the fab­u­lous fem­i­nists that we are will be enough. Yes there’s the f word again and one that you’ll hear a lot about dur­ing the new pres­i­dent’s term of of­fice, guar­an­teed.

PHOTO: JOSE LUIS MAGANA/AP

Ac­tress Ash­ley Judd per­forms on stage dur­ing the Women’s March rally in Washington on Jan­uary 21. In a global ex­cla­ma­tion of de­fi­ance and sol­i­dar­ity, more than one mil­lion peo­ple ral­lied at women’s marches in Amer­ica’s cap­i­tal and cities across the world.

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