Sunday Independent (Ireland) - Life - - GIRL POWER -

Busi­ness­woman, cook­book au­thor, and TV cook I am a fem­i­nist. How­ever, it is very sad that the word has turned into a neg­a­tive one in re­cent years; it has been con­fused and mis­in­ter­preted to mean ‘anti-men’. If this was what feminism was about, I wouldn’t be a fem­i­nist.

There needs to be a change of at­ti­tude to­wards the word, be­cause it is caus­ing a lot of peo­ple, both men and women, to have reser­va­tions about iden­ti­fy­ing with the is­sue. Feminism is sim­ply about gen­der equal­ity, and it af­fects both men and women.

If you be­lieve women all over the world should re­ceive the same ed­u­ca­tion and op­por­tu­ni­ties as men, if you be­lieve men and women should be paid the same for do­ing the ex­act same work of the same qual­ity, if you be­lieve men and women should both feel they can show vul­ner­a­bil­ity or emo­tion with­out be­ing judged, then you be­lieve in feminism. I be­lieve in all these things; I be­lieve in gen­der equal­ity. When cer­tain women who call them­selves ‘fem­i­nist’ use feminism as an ex­cuse to at­tack men, they are do­ing an in­jus­tice to all women. At­tack­ing men is coun­ter­pro­duc­tive; it’s un­fair to men, and just re­sults in a lot of them hat­ing fem­i­nists. Men and women need to be on the same side in order to make progress with gen­der equal­ity. I think per­haps a so­lu­tion would be to try abol­ish­ing the word ‘feminism’ and start­ing again. Let’s call it ‘equal­ism’, let’s de­fine it as I have above, and let’s all get on board.

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