Living in the 21st Century; freedom, equality and opportunity.
…or so they say.
As a woman in the 21st Century we have more power than we ever have before, but its not without its hardships. The expectations we face that are present in our everyday lives, continue to change from the moment we arrive on this earth to the day we die.
I am expected to act like a lady and be respectful to my elders. I am supposed to look a certain way, dress a certain way, have a body that lives up to other people’s expectations. Not only that but a body that adjusts to society’s crazy whims in a fleeting moment. Slim, but not too slim, curvy but not too curvy. Thigh gap. Big boobs. Small boobs. A big ass. A small ass. A round ass.
I have never worn a bikini in my life. Ever. Why? Out of shame that I cannot keep up to our society’s expectations of what my body should look like, a male dominated society where sexuality fuels so many of our actions. So we pluck, starve, laser, sweat, scrub, and bleach throughout our entire lives to conform. I am so guilty of this it is unreal but the moment any of us attempt to break out of this destructive vicious cycle we are judged or considered brave for taking the risk of not conforming.
I am woman that bleeds every month, crippled with the pain of cramps and ever changing mood swings that lead me to wanting love and affection one moment to the overwhelming need to strangle someone in the next. Yet I am expected to just get on with it. I have no excuse, its just life. When we finally hit the end of our twenties comes the next round of expectations. Having babies. But what if I dont want to have children? Well I am judged. I will be judged if I do and judged if I dont. Judged if I cant give birth naturally. Judged if I cant physically have children. The judgement continues.
I am a woman that works hard to have the life that I do, but in a world of work that is heavily weighted in favour of men. And I am expected to compete with the best, on an uneven playing field and be grateful for that gender pay gap where women earn a average of 17.9% less than our male counterparts. I am expected to believe that middle aged, white, middle classed and able bodied men that run the vast majority of companies are trying to eradicate this gender pay gap that has existed ever since women started to work. Whilst I do genuinely thank every man that is trying to destroy this gap, they are few and far between.
As a feminist, I seek change and try to remain hopeful that one day it will come. I want to see a world where no person ever feels pressure by the expectations of our society. A world where no person ever feels broken by a supposed failure to achieve the impossible. A world where we are not judged by what we are not but instead judged by our actions. A world in which we are celebrated for everything that we are.
My name is EJ and I am a woman.
Starting today, on this new and wonderful page, I am on a mission to play an active part in seeking and delivering change, to create a world that is inclusive for all and to challenge the expectations that this crazy world continues to lay at our feet.