I almost blogged about feminism after attending Blogfest and britmumslive last year, but never quite had the er…balls…to do it. (Pun intended). This year though, the fire was once again lit for me at britmums live.
Let me start by saying that I’m not a ‘must join the debate’, ‘burn your bra’ or ‘lets be controversial’ kinda girl. What I do believe is that life is short, the world is better when we are kind to each other (male and female) and when we stick together we achieve more. I also think that feminism in the truest sense of ‘advocacy of women’s rights on the ground of the equality’ has to start with women doing it for themselves.
My personal brand of feminism can therefore be described as a let’s work together, let’s be kind to each other and let’s respect the fact that different people see things differently kind of feminism.
This weekend then it was my absolute pleasure to attend #britmumslive and the weekend was full of highlights. The key note speeches from Emma Freud and Benjamin Brooks-Dutton were both inspiring in their own way. The social media for advanced bloggers session by Paul Armstrong from Digital Orange was brilliant – causing me to write more notes than you can possibly imagine! I also met some amazing bloggers who were friendly and fun – some old friends and some new. There are some really inspirational women in our blogging community and I enjoyed grinning inanely at a couple of my blogging hero’s at the weekend – not quite managing to actually say hello! (i’m aware that sounds slightly pathetic.)
Along with the many positive memories I have from the weekend though I couldn’t help but come away with a tinge of frustration because despite all the talk at britmums live (right from the opening panel session) about feminism and sticking together it just doesn’t always seem to work like that in practice. Let me give you an example.
At one point this weekend I sat down on my own in a session and enthusiastically introduced myself to three bloggers already sat there – I handed over my cards (which had become my ‘go to’ tool for breaking the ice) and asked for their cards. One of the bloggers handed a card over whilst the others simply took my card and turned away.
I’m a fairly confident person but walking into a group of bloggers who already know each other and joining in is, for me, a tough ask. When I build up the courage to do it and the group don’t seem to want to speak to me it hurts. It doesn’t feel like feminism in action.
Most bloggers aren’t like this at all, but the irony of the experience at an event where feminism was being openly discussed and celebrated wasn’t lost on me.
So I don’t know if this post adds anything to the debate, but what I’m hoping is that it states the flipping obvious – we’d be far better off to stop talking about feminism and start behaving like we want to support and be there for each other.