I’m not a feminist, but…

Yeah yeah, we’ve heard it all before…

Well here goes my cliched turn: I am not a feminist in the sense of feeling that there is a superior sex. I am, however, a huge believer in equality. I feel as though a fair amount of feminists need to stop pushing for furthering “gender equality” to the point of making women the superior gender. Why be as bad as the force you’ve been fighting for a century? It makes no sense to me. I do appreciate the massive efforts that have been made in the past, e.g. women gaining the vote, and that kind of important progress. However, the real extreme feminists? No… Not for me. Just equality for all, please, and thank you.

So where am I heading? I went out for lunch last week with my grandmother, and we were catching up after me spending the last three months in Madrid. In passing, she mentioned that she was “pleased” that my ex-boyfriend and I had called it a day. When I asked why, she said, because “Men should be the main breadwinner”. My ex didn’t attend university, and coaches tennis, and I have aspirations to go to law school after graduating from Loughborough – so her logic is basic, but understandable. However, for the first time in my life, I felt a stir of irritation on behalf of my gender.

I suddenly felt that if my grandmother felt I should progress in my career, and education, but still felt I should be earning beneath my future husband/boyfriend’s salary, maybe feminism deserves a little more credit than I give it. She is 76 this week, and over the course of 50 or so years, obviously what I assume to be normal opinions have changed quite a lot. Despite this, I was still pretty cross that after all my hard work so far at ‘getting somewhere’, my grandmother would want me to marry someone who would ‘look after me’.

I don’t really have a point to make here, but I think that maybe Destiny’s Child deserve a little more recognition in careers lectures… Queen B is what is pulling me through.. That and wanting to be able to afford a Chanel bag eventually.

 

 

Fearing the Unknown: The Greatest Downfall?

As a student at a highly esteemed sports university, there are a vast amount of opportunities to get involved with. There are endless societies to join, vast sporting opportunities to grab a hold of, and a tonne of committees to run for. In spite of all this, I take part in nothing extra-curricular. I am a keen fitness freak, regularly going to the gym and running. I used to play hockey for the town I live in in Kent. I used to work for my school’s newspaper. I used to run district cross-country. I was the house captain in sixth form. However, none of this attitude has reflected across to my time at university.

Some may say that it is a huge mistake on my part.  I don’t feel I fit in very easily to university life as it is, as I am not a heavy drinker, I am nonplussed by clubbing, and I don’t wander the campus in trackies and a gilet. I am very shy with new people, and I regularly say things that come out awkwardly and I know the taste of my toes all too well. However, the enthusiasm that these organisations have for gaining new faces sometimes has the opposite to it’s desired effect; for me, definitely, anyway.

The idea of socials makes me want to curl up; I can’t bear the thought of being drunk and making a fool of myself as I do with my friends I have made in halls (which took a long enough time as it is). I am far too scared I won’t be able to keep up with the copious drinking, especially since I measure in at only five foot, meaning I am quite the lightweight, by nature. The idea of trying to force my way into an already established clique terrifies me as well, but the biggest fear of all is the fear of the unknown.

I wish I could work up the guts to try out for the Athletics Club at my university, but initiations terrify me to my very core. Repeatedly, we are told that they are optional, but I know I’d never get to know people as easily as those who were ‘initiated’. I also wish I could join a society, but I just can’t face walking into a room of new people, most of whom already know each other!

Should the drinking culture at British universities ever change, the over-thinking worrier types, such as myself, will lead a much easier life. I would much more enjoy ‘going out’ if it wasn’t for the pressure to GO HARD OR GO HOME – I could maybe even enjoy the odd social here and there!

Reading back over this post, I know how it’ll sound to anyone who reads this waffle: I am an anti-social loner, who spends my days and nights alone. In fact, I think I am just terrified of making an idiot of myself, or being disliked. I am always worrying about the ‘what ifs’ instead of overlooking these, and seeing the clear benefits of putting myself out there. I am not anti-social – I am just slightly introverted, and very aware of my flaws in social situations. 

Apologies that this has completely drifted from my usual topic of political matters – I feel that this could maybe in fact be related to university politics. Student Union politics. There should be a more laid back attitude to the new start; enthusiasm is all well and good for the loudly enthusiastic. Us quieter enthusiasts just get lost a bit in the background, waiting to have everything spelt out for us so we can pull a Bentham and add up our pro’s and con’s. Either that, or I should just go ahead, and stop being a wussy…