Mims' Musings

Posts Tagged ‘feminism

This year has been one in which I have decided to embrace the things that make me. Take an active role in my beliefs rather than reading about them passively. 

It’s also been a year since I started listening to podcasts, a few of which have helped me to lean into different aspects of my personality, Nerdette, The Guilty Feminist, The Moth.

Inspired by this and by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s book ‘Dear Ijewale, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions’, one of the things I decided to do to celebrate International Women’s Day, was to do some self exploration on why I’m a Feminist, this list isn’t exhaustive, but I think it’s a good start…

Mims and her Pussy Hat 2017

  • I believe that just because men and women were put together from different parts, it’s ridiculous that women are labelled as weaker, less capable, inferior, less than 
  • For the time it was suggested that describing myself as a feminist is going too far, it’s not far enough
  • For the times I’ve paid for something and my boyfriend has been handed the change
  • For the times mortgage lenders, estate agents and contractors have addressed me as ‘Mrs’, because a woman being the sole owner of a property is still so rare
  • For the times my consent has been assumed, not given 
  • For the times I’ve complied with non-consensual or coercive situations because I’m too tired to FIGHT
  • For the times I’ve been labelled as a victim when challenging any oppressive circumstances
  • For the times any woman has been judged by how she looks or what she’s wearing, instead of what she has to say
  • For the millions of £’s made from magazines whose main focus is to draw attention to women’s physical flaws
  • For the myth, perpetuated by so many industries, which tells people that what’s on the outside is in constant need of improvement
  • For every toy shop which is divided by gender. It’s 2017 and we are so far away from a world where a girl can pick up a toy truck, a boy can pick up a toy doll, and there’s no stigma attached
  • For every woman who rejects feminism, as it means deep down they believe men and women are not equal
  • For every person in a position of power who works against the baby steps taken by feminism so far
  • For EQUALITY. 


Today I woke up to an excited household. My parents were watching Pope Francis’s meeting with the Jesuits in the Philippines. My Mum is from the Philippines, and my Dad studied with the Jesuits there. Several of the Jesuits in the room are personal friends of theirs. I joined in watching the video, feeling happy that Pope Francis had experienced that Filipino sense of humour which I’ve grown up around.

Minutes later, this article came up, and my happiness quickly dissolved into anger:

Pope criticises Gay Marriage, backs ban on contraception

I was brought up as a Catholic, and stopped going to church regularly when I was about 15. This article has reminded me why I don’t subscribe to Catholicism anymore. I’m always respectful of other people’s faiths, but as this is the one I’ve been brought up in, it angers me.

I have been a feminist for as long as I can remember. This doesn’t mean man-hater, it means I believe in equality between everyone. Banning contraception perpetuates inequality between men and women, and saying people aren’t fit to bring up a family just because of their sexuality is just sick.

I think it’s absolutely appalling that in this day and age, we have someone with so much influence in parts of the world, enforcing a ban on contraception. How is the world ever meant to beat the outbreak of HIV/Aids if we have the head of a church saying using contraception is wrong?

Long before I stopped attending church, I was very uncomfortable with how patriarchal it is. I would refuse to say parts of prayers which use ‘man’ or ‘mankind’ as a shorthand of referring to the whole human population.

It didn’t take me long to expand this thought to realise that the whole message throughout Catholicism is that women aren’t the same as men.

Women caused all the sin in the world

Women are only worth a mention during a catholic mass if they’re a Virgin

Women aren’t good enough to become priests

But I don’t think my ideology is limited to feminism, it’s a basic human right that we are all equal, and to have control of our bodies.

The ban on contraception reinforces inequality. By condemning birth control, it condemns women to perpetual inequality. They’re unable to take ownership of their own bodies, and firmly puts them in a subservient bilogical role of maternal nurturers. Because if women weren’t busy having babies, maybe they’d get ideas and want to be leaders!

Before I decided to stop attending the Catholic Church regularly, I tried to find a compromise. My logic was that as there’s an ‘actor’s church’, maybe there’s a feminist church. I googled feminist catholic church, and my horror escalated as I browsed through the results:

Pope Warns Feminists



Catholics Trapped by Feminism



I literally wept while reading this. How could I continue to be part of a church which teaches people to think in this way?

As it seems women don’t stand a chance in the Catholic Church, it seems that gay couples have even less of a chance.

If heterosexual couples are such an ideal family configuration, then why can’t the same be replicated by a homosexual couple? Isn’t the key to it having loving parents? Why would it matter if a kid has two Dads, two Mums, or just a single parent?

It feels so much more personal that the pope has reinforced these messages in a country to which I attribute half of my heritage. They are a step backwards into times which humankind has since evolved from.

Wake up Catholics, it’s 2015.

Disagree with something I’ve said? Feel free to comment, I like a good debate!

I’ve never been good at playing sports, but I’ve always supported them. One of my first memories is watching rugby with my Dad. I was about 3, dressed as a princess with my hair in curlers and completely fascinated by the rugby. I’ve continued to be a strange combination of a sports loving girly girl, although never quite overcame my fear of playing them.

As those of you who read my blog regularly will know, I recently spent nearly a month in South Africa, where the whole country was excited by the start of the World Cup in New Zealand. I was proud of the replica shirt I bought over there, and impressed with how their shops stock women’s shirts nearly everywhere that men’s shirts are stocked. I always knew that women’s shirts are hard to find in London, but what I found when we returned home was shocking.

One thing I always look forward to when England are knocked out of whichever competition, is the way prices for replica shirts drop afterwards. In anticipation of this, I started looking around at possible retailers online. However, I found myself frustratingly unable to find anything resembling a Women’s Replica Rugby Shirt. When I couldn’t find anything on the official RFU website I started to worry. I sent Customer Services an email,  here was the reply I received:

“Thank you for your email.

After looking into your query, I can tell you that all the items we stock can be found on our online store.

Unfortunately if the items you require can not be found online we do not stock this item and do not have any dates available for when we will be getting it in, in the near future.

As our website is being updated regularly all we can advise is that you keep checking the website for any new products which may feature on there.”

After another hour or so of frantic Googling, I accepted the truth. There is no such thing as a Women’s England Rugby Replica shirt. I know that I could fit comfortably into a small men’s shirt, but why should I have to? Why should I need to pay the same price as other countries, when women there get a well-tailored, curve hugging shirt with a flattering neckline? Furthermore, why would sportswear manufacturers choose to alienate all women? That’s a large part of the market to ignore.

The problem is, this isn’t the first time I’ve felt like I have no place being a sports fan as a woman. Without even scraping the surface of how women who like or play sports are labelled as Lesbians. Last year, during the football World Cup in South Africa, I was trying to find a Women’s football shirt in big sports shops in London. It was a nightmare. Many shops told me that they didn’t stock the shirts in women’s sizes, and those that did only had one or two in each size and so sold out within hours. More recently I found myself wondering why one of the big sports shops had put out an advert where Men’s and Kids football shirts were reduced, but no mention of  Women’s.

During this mission I also found myself overwhelmed by the quantity of merchandise aimed at women, with slogans such as ‘Mrs Beckham’, or ‘Future WAG’ on them. It seems that if you’re a woman, your place in supporting sports is if you fancy the players, as some sort of wannabe WAG. As if that wasn’t enough, you can now dress your baby girl in t-shirt expressing her wish to be nothing more than a footballer’s girlfriend, before she can even talk.

The view that only men enjoy sports is just not true, and yet that seems to be the message that retailers are trying to put across. But is that only the case because women feel like they aren’t supposed to like sports? This is something I’ll continue to wonder about for a while, especially as other teams such as Scotland and Wales seem perfectly able to release a women’s replica rugby shirt.

If anyone has any answers about this I’d like to hear from you, please comment below!

Today I celebrated International Women’s Day, as organised by one of my good friends who I can remember meeting on our induction day way back in 1999!

We met for coffee (or tea) with 6 other girls who I was at secondary school with. Some of whom I hadn’t seen for 5 years. We talked about all kinds of women’s issues and had some really interesting conversations (as well as a good deal of catching up).

As we’d all spent 7 years at the same all girls school, it was really refreshing to see what paths our lives were heading down, 5 years after leaving, and to hear how similar some of our viewpoints and experiences are.

We were all quite distressed by how low the percentage of convictions for rape are. Nearly all of us knew of someone, or had heard of cases where time and time again rapists are ‘let off’ from rape. There are too many stories of judge’s blaming women for their own rape, too many ridiculous excuses used, and too few serious punishments. How is it fair that in return for raping someone you can be sentenced to just 6 years of jail, or even worse, community service and a fine?

Leading on from this we talked about how girls are brought up in a culture of fear. We unanimously said that we don’t feel safe walking alone at night (in this country at least), but the fear is never of being mugged but attacked. Surely statistically we’re no more likely to be attacked than men are, so why are we always told to fear it? Then again perhaps we’re just more cautious and aware of our safety?

Then again even in places where we should feel safe physically, like work or uni, sexism rears its ugly head. The problem is that we’ve learned to dismiss sexist comments as ‘just a joke’ or feel guilty for being offended, when really we shouldn’t have to put up with it.

We also talked about how much in-fighting there is in the ‘sisterhood’. Girls are constantly in competition with eachother, bitching about eachother and excluding eachother. Going to an all girls school for 7 years we certainly had plenty of experience in this area and seeing the side effects. Too many girls threw themselves at the first guy that came along as some sort of attempt to cancel out their low self esteem. In a world where patriachy is against you, girls should stick together, not make it worse for eachother.

Now that it’s 2012 you’d think that feminism would have become acceptable. Instead the media is now trying to claim that feminism has ‘gone too far’, when it clearly hasn’t gone far enough. Somehow feminism has become synonymous with the word ‘lesbian’, a ‘dirty’ word that people are ashamed to admit to being. When really it just means that you think the world needs to become a fairer place, for men and women.

The assumption that feminists hate men is just wrong. In fact all the issues I’ve written about here are just as relevant for men, and it’s just as interesting as to why domestic violence, rape and sexism are always associated with women, and if men identify themselves as victims they’re seen as ‘weak’.

These are just some of the things we talked about. Not even going into the problems that women around the world face. After a few tables full of coffee and tea cups, we all donated what money we could to Oxfam, who are currently sending all donations to women’s organisations around the world. I urge you strongly to do the same!


Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 409 other followers


%d bloggers like this: