The distracted feminist

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Hello. My name is Brydie and I’m a distracted feminist.

It’s an odd title but, but there it sits. Like me sitting down to write this post. I thought, I ummed, I errred a little, I paused, I read and then I thought some more. I had an idea, and then…well, I got distracted. Distracted by the bills that needed paying, one or two children, the door bell briefly and then I got distracted by the enormity of the topic- feminism.

I read article after article on different feminist points of views. I had rich and emotionally charged conversations with my husband. I laughed and laughed when I watched this funny lady. And then I thought some more.

Initially, I thought feminism wasn’t dead at all, instead it had just been pushed to the back of the ‘I’m too busy’ pile along with so many other things that people used to have an opinion about.

When people’s attention span has so dramatically decreased in recent years with the introduction of social media, online options, and general ‘busyness‘. It’s hard to hold someone’s attention for ten pages of feminist musings. Let alone, an entire book.

After that initial thought though, I leapt from one thought process to the next and wondered if our communities weren’t being exceptionally dumbed down and our women still indeed have a long road to travel. It sits uncomfortably that thought, but it sits all the same. Gender based inequalities, a rather long held topic really.

I do think living in a continually distracted state can keep us from some of the most important things in life- things that we should have an opinion on and be engaged with. 

While I’m completely guilty of being a distracted feminist at times, I’m also more aware of things then I ever was as my younger self. Stories, plights, endeavours and opinions of my fellow women I will devour and never tire of hearing about. Why? Because I am a woman and I want to think about these things. I want to have an opinion. I want to play a part in trying to change things that need changing. And it’s not just women that need to think about these things it’s our men and boys as well. Inequalities should be thought of as we are human, not because of what sex we are.

Becoming a parent introduced me to a whole range of subtle feminist musings I had never previously considered as a childless person. Things to consider, actions made or simply words and their substantial weight when said in a seemingly careless fashion.

So how does my day-to-day life align with feminist thinkings without dusting off the Germaine Greer books by my bed side table and stalking Clementine Ford‘s twitter feed? Well, it’s having an opinion and speaking up when I hear stupid comments like…

“Oh take your skirt off!” said to the young boy when he was hurt playing soccer and had paused the game.

“Boys will be boys”, on a messy bedroom. No, just because they have a penis doesn’t mean they are entitled to a room that looks like a bombs gone off, and yes girls can do that just as well, (my sister was an expert in this.)

cityhippyfarmgirlI don’t just read books to my kids where the hero is always a male. Nor do I subscribe to the useless princess stories waiting for her whole life to be fixed by a charming prince.

I won’t put clothing on my daughter that will restrict her playing, learning and her general keeping up with her big brothers (or anyone else) because she is the “dainty feminine one”. Sure she LOVES tutus, and if that tutu is covered in mud and paint splodges at the end of the day well, it looks like that has been a damn good day.

I won’t cultivate my boys interests to more “masculine” orientated themes. If they are interested in something, bloody hell, I’ll do whatever I can to encourage that.

I also refuse to take stupid comments like, “oh your husband will understand better” on asking for technical advice in a phone shop, before being fobbed off. No. Err, no he won’t, which is why I am here asking for help.

It’s true. I am unfortunately a distracted feminist- things can get busy round these parts, just as they can for so many other people. But I can also can be a distracted mother, wife, friend, daughter, sister. Along with a 100 other labels I could pin upon myself. The difference is, that I am interested, and I do have curiosity to know more, do more, think more. I certainly don’t see my sex as being inferior or less than and I refuse to take on any restrictions that someone cares to throw at me because of it.

What I will do is, have an evolving strong feminist leaning opinion…albeit at times a slightly distracted one.

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Today is International Women’s Day, the 8th of March– this post, along with another at the end of the week will be written with a feminine curve, (just as I did last year with these posts below.)

Guilty rambles with a divided heart

Lavender and inspiring women

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32 thoughts on “The distracted feminist

  1. Sounds like you’ve got things well sorted, Brydie. I think we’re very fortunate here in the West as women truly do have equal opportunity and equal rights compared with women in places like Saudi Arabia where it is illegal for women to talk to men and where it is illegal to drive a car xx

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    • Yesterday I went to the All About Women festival at the Opera House, where I was lucky enough to listen to a panel of amazing women who were walking on How to be a Feminist. My head is still buzzing from the ideas and different inputs from people. At times I certainly don’t feel like I have things particularly sorted but if I give that impression than some parts must be ok!

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  2. Thanks for sharing this post Brydie! I found it really encouraging for my own busy distracted life in which I still want to fight for equality in all areas but find it hard to have time and energy to make change.

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    • Sarah it can be really hard to get that balance I find…jeez with anything! Keep plugging away at the things you think are important. There is a good chance they are bloody important, especially when it comes to feminism.

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    • I edited this one down a lot. It really could be a bottomless post Jane.
      Lots of things to think about eh. All those subtle (or not) points that just really aren’t fair!
      As for Queen of Distraction…alas yes.

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  3. Oh yessssss, I hear you Lovely Lady, busy mumma, devoted partner, concerned sibling, loving daughter, able photographer, terrific writer etc etc…. May focus come your way when you need it the most xxx

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  4. Happy international Women’s Day Brydie – I celebrated while listening to the opera house festival broadcast live over local abc while painting my front room :). Now that most of the overt discrimination has been removed, it remains the hidden, more subtle social contracts to have the light of truth shone on them. What becomes more and more obvious is that men as well as women are suffering under social obligations that keep us locked into narrow stereotypical roles. Things like mother, father, bread winner, nurturer, friend, lover have all got gender images attached to them…and that is where our work lies, I think!

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    • Sara I’d love to have a long chat with you one day over this and probably a bottomless teapot of tea.
      Going through my notes today that I took yesterday at the Opera House, much to muse on…oh la la.. much indeed. (Ms Gilbert was awesome as well, oh yes indeed :-))

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      • O my goodness yes. We would have much to discuss :). It would have been a fantastic event to go to – just the snippets I heard were enough to fire me up. Maybe next year!

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  5. What a good post Brydie, thanks for sharing your interesting thoughts and putting it down so clearly. You do that well. So. Well. I agree with all. Thank you.

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    • Thank you Irene, I really appreciate that. Juggling words here and everything else in life doesn’t always ensure coherence…especially when it’s a topic I feel really strongly about as emotions get entwined.

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      • You totally hit it on the spot for sure this time and many many other times to be honest! You have such a good way with words! (yes I’m in the flattering mood lol)

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  6. Modern life is a complete and utter distraction Ms. Cityhippyfarmgirl. It would seem that we need that distraction to keep us from having to make decisions and actually ‘do’ something. We keep making it harder and harder to achieve anything by allowing social media, and the frantic need to keep up, to keep raising the bar and we are all left confused and feeling ‘less than” in the process. Might be time to just take back Pelham 123. I love your ethos. I am a 51-year old woman who, until recently, considered her finest quality to be “Luddite”. I find myself learning how to code HTML and thrown into a world of learning how to create 3D images using software that only a few months ago would make my head spin just thinking about. I still can’t use the Foxtel remote control, but at least I now know that most probably I can. Seems we CAN do things that we might not think we are conditioned to do. We just have to try. And trying is the imperative here, bollocks to anyone who says we can’t or tries to label or box us. Just get out there and “Try”. We might be in the age of distraction but at least we have been handed the key to “Try” without being jailed or beaten like our female ancestors. Life is good and we have that choice. I consider that a SCORE! Moment 🙂

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    • Ms Narf, you as a “Luddite”? Oh my woman, never! You are like the Oracle from Tasmania…seriously. I love having your comments and inputs. This is what I adore about blogging, those conversations and the valuable time that people put into writing a response.
      The frantic need to keep up is tricky, damn tricky. I don’t have an answer for that one unfortunately, I think so many people are still trying to work it out…without even knowing what exactly is wrong.

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      • I think we need to simplify our lives more. Stop padding them out with noise and all of the ‘extras’ that distract us and just get back as close to fundamentals as we can for a bit. Knowing what you need vs what you want is always a good start. You can’t count your blessings if you really don’t know what or where they are.

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      • With new technology flying out of the starters gate every day, there is so much “stuff” out there. It’s much like websites and blogs. You have to flutter around like a hoverfly checking out what is worth it and what is just out there to make money. It IS getting much harder to make ethical choices but thank goodness there are some amazing sites out there that are going for broke to deliver quality products that won’t break the bank OR the earth. Here’s to technological genius coupled with environmental awareness. We all have different wants and needs and finding the most appropriate “noises” to enhance our lives does take time. Anything that robs you of spending time with your kids, your partner, your friends, that would nail you to a chair and would hold you prisoner when you would rather be doing something else is most probably something that could and should be cut. We are SO ‘busy’ these days. Back in our parents day, their business was busy as well BUT they ‘did’ things back then, we spend a lot of our time organising and texting and planning and playing with little pieces of plastic and glass that seem to be taking over our lives. Not so long ago the world was a much smaller place but people had a whole lot more time.

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  7. When I use to shop in Lakemba for Lebanese groceries I’d ask the shop taker for ingredients or cooking equipment and he would answer to my “husband” (we are de-facto) who always stood behind me in those crammed little shops. Um hello am I invisible? Even though I am a SAHM which is my feminist choice for the moment, I definitely need to become involved again in women issues.

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    • Definitely not invisible Zena, and your feminist voice will be raised when it’s the right time. Don’t under estimate the power of those small conversations with people just in your immediate community. They can be just as important. xx

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  8. So much to say I don’t know where to start! And I knew you ere talking about Judith Lucy before I even clicked on the link, I’ve been watching her series and she’s hilarious. The pretend baby she had? So funny. Great post Brydie! x

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    • She really is damn funny isn’t she. Judith can come round to my place for dinner anytime 🙂
      As for being a distracted feminist, yep, it’s a big one a really big one. I know I’ve only written a tiny tip of the iceberg here, the words have lingered on to conversations all week, (which is a wonderful thing!)

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  9. Pingback: International Women’s Day | cityhippyfarmgirl

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