What Feminism Means To Me ...

After reading "Feminists Don't Wear Pink ... And Other Lies" I began to wonder what role feminism plays in my life. Since I am a blogger, I began to wonder if I could write an essay debating this question but then I got a bit anxious because a random man on the internet who might feel offended would call me a whiny bitch, femnazi, or whatever term is popular at the moment just because I use the term "feminism".

This in turn told me that I should indeed write down what feminism means to me!

In my every day life, feminism is not something I think about regularly because I am fortunate enough that I never had a #MeToo story to share. However, I am aware that feminism is still relevant and important. This became clear to me, not through violence towards me but rather men's pathetic behaviour when equal rights are mentioned or change is even hinted at.

At my work place, #MeToo had been taken serious for the first three days at best. After that period, jokes were made how accidentally tapping someone on the shoulder should be put under the #MeToo hashtag.

A few years ago when I published a motivational photo during International Woman's Day saying "a woman can be everything she wants to be" a man decided to comment "even a goat" because I like goats. He had probably thought that he had been cheeky or, at worst, flirty but I felt ridiculed and decided to ignore it.

Trying to encourage each other, weither it is to speak out or to do things outside of the norm, is not a tool to use for your punch line ... I saw no women making a similar comment.

Motorsport is a part of life that I enjoy, and yet, when I talked to the male fan who sat next to me during the Austrian Grand Prix he told me that I am the first girl he met who also likes the sport. A guy on Instagram suggested that he had never heard about a girl who likes Formula E. At the same time, the close friends with whom I talk motorsport are mostly girls. Even so, I don't go around while suggesting that "wow, a man watching Formula E. I see something new every day."

On another level when a male pay-driver gets a seat, people just shrug their shoulders, write a bitchy tweet when he does shit and move on. However, when a female racing driver gets only a testing seat, people start to write whole essays comparing her past results and try to find reasons why she shouldn't get the seat. At the same time, they have never done the same to a male driver. Still they claim that they're not being sexist because their essay is based on results only ...

And then there is the tired topic of grid-girls. As far as I am concerned, in a perfect world gird girls would be a no-discussion topic. Fans would respect them as a hard working models who re-present a brand, when you replace them with male models or grid kids so be it. Then the world keeps turning but without people writing sassy, bitchy, and down-right shitty tweets.

The world is not perfect and people do in fact write sassy, bitchy, and down-right shitty tweets when they have a gird-boy. Vettel himself said: "Why didn't we have any grid girls today? What was that? F---! You get there and park behind George or Dave. What's the point?" Clearly showing a lot of respect towards the hard job of a grid-person - mind the sarcasm.

These occurrences show that there is still a need for feminism in the first world - it is important to still scream and shout, and make people aware of what is going wrong.

While this is the harsh side of feminism, it also has a gentle side. It comes in the form of women supporting each other and having like-minded people by your side when you venture out in new territory.

Feminism is when nobody was telling me that "motorsport isn't for girls," when I flipped channels and ended up watching F1.

Feminism is that I had never actively been encouraged to play with dolls and when I drove my bicycle around the garden while pretending that it was a motorbike my Papa took hero shots of me.

During my formative years I had never been shown or told that I should act a certain way, look a certain way, or like certain things just because I was born female.

Through this positive encouragement, I am able to live a life that I am comfortable with. Without feminism telling me that it's okay to like typically boy-ish things, I would not live in this fun grey zone: I can like pretty nail varnish - which is still seen a feminin - and motorsport - which is also still considered as masculine. I can wear a pretty dress one day, while running around in a undefinable shaped hoodie the next. I can enjoy a road trip with perfectly winged eyeliner, and do a bench press while wearing a washed out t-shirt. I don't always have to look pretty, it is my choice when I want to look pretty.

Thanks to feminism, I do all of these things without shame. A woman can be so many things at the same time, and feminism is all about embracing all of these different shades and encouraging them.

And as the rather bland motivational quote I shared two years ago said: a woman can be anything she wants to be


6 comments :

  1. I find this really interesting. I'm very fortunate that I don't think being female has ever had a negative impact on me getting an opportunity or caused anyone to pass comments on my interests. It's interesting to read this from the perspective of someone who likes something typically associated as a male interest x

    Sophie

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    1. Thank you. I am glad you liked the read ♥

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  2. Amazing post and as a huge Formula 1 and motorsport fan - as you know - I can relate to a lot of this. I definitely think the motorsport world is getting more and more open to women in the sport, drivers, engineers etc. Don't get me started on pay drivers though haha! I also never had an issue with grid girls. They were there because they loved doing it. And I actually read an article from one of them which said she's effectively out of a job which she loved now and she also liked it because it was a cheaper way for her to watch the sport that she loved too.

    I know it's a grey area and a tricky topic but definitly one that could be discussed more. So this was a great way to approach a post about feminism. I'd love to talk to you more about it!

    Jenny in Neverland

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    1. I am happy you liked the post and could relate to it.

      Yeah, grid girls are a complicated topic with many sides to consider and I guess there is no definite "right" or "wrong" in today's time when it comes it ...

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  3. I'm so glad you wrote this post and weren't put off by any possible male sniping, it's great! I do know a couple of other girls who like motorsport too but I get what you mean about usually a male interest. You're absolutely right, we can be whatever and whoever we want to be, particularly in this day and age, and stereotypes should not get in the way of that. Thank you for writing this.

    Lisa x

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    1. Aww thank you! I am a bit proud of myself for sharing this because it resonated with quite a few people :)

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