Feminism. Famously described by Chimamanda Ngoziis in her TED talk session, is the social and economic equality of the sexes. Additionally, more so recently, we are pummelled with messages and powerful imagery throughout the media today of what is means to be a feminist and how we should all be actively striving for equality.
Now, I understand I’m now walking a fine line by even discussing this (as I would hate people to get the wrong idea of who I am as a person and what I stand for), but it’s all well and good Beyonce standing on stage in a tight leotard surrounded by adoring fans singing about equality and being an independent woman, but it intrigues me as to where these ideologies actually translate into the everyday life of women. To be entirely honest, I’d never given it a whole lot of thought until recently. I’d always believed women were equal in my own eyes but not in the views of many others within our society. But because of this feminists (men and women alike) are now striving for equality – for men and women to be treated exactly the same, all the time. However, I pose the question, does the everyday woman truly want to be equal to the everyday man?
Recently, this came to my attention as a friend went on a date last week. It was a good night, they had a meal, a few drinks and got on like a house on fire but it didn’t work out because of one reason (well, and that he turned out to be a massive bellend but let’s not split hairs). The final deciding factor was that he did not pay the entire bill. When the end of the evening came and the waiter placed the bill on the table, he picked it up, added together what he ordered on his phone before handing the receipt to her, so she could tot her amount owed. Truly, she was outraged!
Now, many would argue that the social norm would be that the man pays…but why?
And, if equality if what society is striving for, surly the bill should be split equally and fairly?
Now, this is a very black and white view of the issue, as I do understand that paying for another person’s meals can stem for more than just falling into a socially constructed norm, I mean I pay for friends all the time, just as they do for me, but that just tends to be because we care about one another (or just because one of us is skint which is usually the case). But it does pose an interesting argument to mull over and think, what does equality of the sexes actually entail in our everyday lives?