Mims' Musings

Posts Tagged ‘womens rights


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. 

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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

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Catholics Trapped by Feminism

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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!


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