As anyone who knows me can attest, I am a proud, tub-thumping feminist.
And as my husband can attest, I’m not shy about standing up and speaking out about women’s issues (usually after reading the Sunday papers).
I admire many women who also speak out, which is why I have struggled lately with the recent articles I’ve read about the so-called “feminists for Trump”.
It seems that a lot of women – whether they call themselves feminists or not – are in utter disbelief that other women voted for Trump. They can’t understand why. And they seem to want to tell these women why they shouldn’t have.
The one article that fired me up to write this blog was written by the amazing Anne Summers.
While I admire Anne Summers and her feminist views, when I read her article The new facts of life for Trump women I just wanted to say, “Anne. Relax. Women fought hard for the right to vote and you’ve got to let them vote for who they want.”
Don’t get me wrong. I am also flabbergasted that some women were able to overlook some of the things Donald Trump has said about women. I really am.
But I do have a theory as to why. They are used to hearing these things and they don’t expect any better. They’re not used to expecting a politician to stand up for women’s rights – many female politicians don’t do it, so why should men?
But I would never judge these women as somehow letting down women worldwide, or of being uneducated, or voting through a sense of self-loathing.
Because to me, feminism is about choice and empowerment.
The suffragettes worked hard and gave their lives to give women the freedom to vote. And as feminists, we can’t celebrate that freedom, then disown or belittle the choices women make.
We can’t say you must vote for a woman simple because she is a woman. Women will vote for the person they think will do the best job.
I hate to disagree with Anne Summers, but Trump becoming President will not “hurtle us back to the baddest of bad old days where women are rated on their appearances…or where few hold high office or leadership roles” because we never really left those days.
I may sound cyclical, but I’m not. I think I’m realistic.
The fight for equal opportunity was not going to end if Hillary Clinton became the President. Did it end for women in Australia when Julia Gillard became our first female prime minister? No.
Let’s calm down on the hysteria. This will not set back the women’s movement, it will just keep it bubbling along and maybe even galvanise those women who don’t see a role for feminism in their lives.
I know we’re tired and feel like after all these years, we need a break. But we need to keep fighting the good fight. Girl power will live on!