Given the recent news that England have just won the women’s rugby world cup, I have started thinking about our femininity, or rather lack of it in the last decade. Whilst sat having lunch with my work friend, we began chatting about how feminine we think we are, and why women have started becoming more masculine. It is no surprise that this lack of femininity is present within the work place, we are craving a power that has been left absent to us by men, but is there a line between feminism and turning into men?
As a past rugby player myself I was thrilled at the news that we had just won the rugby world cup, these amazingly powerful women have proven that we can peruse sports that historically, have been played by men, and maybe supported by some gorgeous cheerleader shaking her pom pom’s at the masculine figures. Me and my work friend started having a chat about how women, especially at work, are trying to both look, and act like men. As a feminist myself I applaud any woman who wishes to excel in activities other than washing, cooking, and giving birth, but a worrying thought has crossed my mind, “are we trying to be men?” and not in fact trying to modernise out female sensibilities.
A few weeks ago I decided it was imperative that I purchased an interview outfit, given that I had just graduated. I decided to ask some sales assistants what they would suggest for an important job interview, and straight away she took me to the suit section, which of course is most definitely the smarter option, but why should I dress myself like a man in order to be successful in an interview? I decided to purchase a knee length pencil skirt, and a cream blouse, which in my opinion is smart, powerful … and feminine. In my opinion if an employer ignores your obvious work ethic and academic skills because you aren’t wearing a tailored suit, then the company really isn’t worth working for, because I can promise you that that discrimination would not only carry on, but would become unbearable a few weeks later. Another point I thought of with regards to an interview was the use of “a strong handshake”, I must say I am guilty of purposely trying to shake the hand of my future boss as hard as possible, because nearly every online help page suggests to do so! But do we actually get a better chance of getting a job because of this 5 second interlude?
Another shameful act I have found myself taking part in, is trying to look and act physically stronger than I actually am, luckily for me, after playing rugby for 5 years, I do pack a bit of strength, but to my horror I am actually using my sporting past in the work place. I was asked if I needed help carrying a box yesterday (which I really did need!) and I found myself saying “No mate I’m ok, I use to play rugby” … The second I said it, I felt like I had let down all my feminist heroes, I said it for one simple reason, subconsciously, I wanted to be seen as an equal to this man, when scientifically men are actually stronger than women, so what the hell are we doing ?!
Smaller things such as drinking beer, sitting with our legs open, and even expanding and showing off our sexual appetite is becoming worrying. I myself am partial to sitting in an unlady like manner, and after a few drinks I may become a little louder, is this all our secret plan to take over men? Thinking about it, what do we really need men for nowadays ? we have artificial insemination, certain products from Ann Summers, suits, we can even rock a shaved head with the right earrings ! But we must stop and ask ourselves if we are doing this for ourselves, or to look more powerful in the eyes of men?
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