10 good reasons to be a feminist
22 May 2012
The Irish Feminist Network holds its first conference in Dublin this weekend. ANTHEA McTEIRNAN explains why she'll be going along
1 You like being a woman. No, you are not a masochist. Reading this roll-call (role call?) of nasties may make loving your X chromosome hard to justify, but hang in there. Women do 66 per cent of the world's work and produce 50 per cent of the food but earn only 10 per cent of the income and own 1 per cent of the property. Up to 70 per cent of women are victims of violence during their lifetime.
Women make up nearly two-thirds of the world's 759 million illiterate adults. In the US in 2010, women earned less than men in 99 per cent of all occupations. In Ireland, only 15 per cent of the Dáil are women: that's 25 five female TDs and 141 male ones.
So what's not to like? Well, patently, all of the above. Being a woman can hurt. It can make you angry. It can mess up your life chances. These things are not our responsibility, but they are something we can change. If you like being a woman, you are in for a fight, and the feminist army is the army to join. Because we're worth it.
2 You like women. "Surely the real question should be, not 'Why are you a feminist?' but 'Why aren't you one?' " The answer to the novelist Sarah Waters's question is a no-brainer. See above.