The year is 2015.
Everywhere you look, the cars are becoming shinier, sleeker and more fuel-efficient. We eat our meals from microwaveable pouches, and we can access pretty much anything we need on the smartphones surgically attached to our hands.
Australia has had its first female prime minister. Our foreign minister is female. At one point, the majority of state leaders were also female. And the richest Australian? Yup –female.
We can do almost anything we like. The 50’s era housewife, who lives only to serve her man, cook a good meal and keep a tidy home is long gone. We can still make the choice to do that with our lives if we wish, but it is a definite choice and not an expectation.
Some might say we have won the fight for gender equality.
However, almost any empowered woman will likely tell you a very different story.
We are not free to breastfeed our children in public without a fight. There are more men named PETER sitting on boards in Australia then there are women in total. We are insanely still having to remind people that the clothes we choose to wear, are not an excuse for rape. We are still fighting with mainstream women’s magazines to feature women with a body fat percentage above 10, and we are still expected to dedicate our lives and our bodies to making babies.
We are, however, absolutely free to choose. I am currently choosing a life of dating. I like to date a few men, however I normally only sleep with one at a time. I am completely honest with these men about what I want. I am also safe. I meet (mostly) wonderful men, we might go on a date or two. We might sleep together for a few weeks, while both still on tinder and both still going on other dates. Why not? This is all I am looking for. I find the honeymoon period fun, and after two long-term serious relationships I just want a bit of fun. I am open, I am honest, I am safe.
We are absolutely not free to act without reaction though. It blows my mind that people who are not affected whatsoever by the men I choose to keep in my sheets can have such strong opinions on my behaviour. From the pitiful (I am not respecting myself) to the harsh (I am a slut). The general consensus seems to be that I am desperately seeking a long-term partner, and that I am ‘handing out the popsicles for free’. I’ve been called a man-eater, selfish, a whore. I have some very close male friends (who, despite how slutty I apparently am, I have never so much as kissed) who live their lives similarly to mine. They go out, bring women home, have a night of fun and often never see them again. There can be a different woman every weekend. So long as they aren’t hurting themselves or anybody else, nobody seems to bat an eye. Their friends regard them as legends. They are bachelors. They are living their lives. They will settle down, if and when they are ready.
They have never been told that they need to make better choices. They’ve never had ‘friends’ tell them to start treating themselves with some respect. Nobody has ever looked at them with pity and sighed ‘It’s so sad the way he thinks he is having fun, when clearly he just wants to find a wife’.
The year is 2015. We have fought for so long, but it is not over yet. So let your flag fly. If you want to sleep around? Do it. If you want to date? Do it! If you want to get married, have two kids and bake cookies before the school pick up – than do it. If you want to live on a mountain with fifty cats then bloody well do it. But let’s stop assuming that everyone else wants the same life that we do.
Reposted on Elite Daily under ‘Why the Battle For Gender Equality is Still Waging in Australia’ Check it out here!