Womens stuff

The new feminism

Feminism has come a long way. Since its beginnings at the end of the nineteenth century as a political movement born in the struggles of suffragism, through to the renaissance of the nineteen sixties, feminism has evolved and diversified in ways the early feminists would not have thought possible. So what relevance does feminism have to women of the 21st century? We look at several womenís stories and find out what feminism means to them.

Betty Flaps, 37, PR, London.

ĎFor me, being a feminist today is all about feeling good as a woman. I think weíve all moved on from the old ideas about burning bras and not shaving armpits. I respect myself, but I like to look good, and if I look good I feel good. I like to look good for men as well, and I donít think thereís anything wrong with that. A few years ago, when Iíd just had my kids, I felt there was something wrong. I just couldnít put my finger on it though. I was slightly depressed I suppose, and the love life in the marriage was suffering. The one night after we had been making love, my husband had a frank talk with me. ĎDarling,í he said, Ďfrankly, your snatch is like a wizardís sleeve. Either get it sewn up, or Iím leaving you to bring the brats up on your own.í Suddenly it dawned on me. Since having children, Iíd lost all sight of what it meant to be a women- i.e. having a tight fanny. I booked an appointment to get it operated on the very next day. And since then, I couldnít be happier.í

Amanda Pickle, 42, Accountant

ĎFeminism, I think, is about being empowered, having the ability to take control of oneís life and make decisions for yourself. I think that is something that has dramatically transformed womenís lives since I was a little girl. I like to make choices. For example, I was on the Atkins diet, now Iím on the cabbage soup diet. When I go out shopping I like the power of knowing I can choose whether to buy a pair of shoes, or 30 bars of chocolate and a latte in Starbucks. Feminism neednít be about hating men. Itís more about realising that there are essential differences between women and men. Have you read that book ĎMen are from Mars, Women are from Venusí? I think itís very true. Iím thinking of writing one called ĎMen like ideas, Women like chocolate.í Because itís true. My husbandís awfully clever, he reads the paper every day and tells me all about politics and so on, but Iím not really interested in that. My favourite things in life are chocolate and shoes. Which oneís better, Iím not sure. Some days its chocolate and some days its shoes. I suppose the uncertainty is just one of those things that keeps life interesting. Sex? Itís ok, but Iíd rather be sitting in a wine bar with my girl friends talking about vibrators.í

Lola Raunch, 25, Graduate Trainee,

ĎFeminismís all about feeling feminine, in whatever form that takes. I like looking sexy, I think feminism should be about that, not wearing dungarees and having scruffy hair. Women now have much better equality in the workplace than they used to. I started my graduate placement at the same time as this other lad, but I got promoted first. Why? Well, I think it was about the way I presented myself as a sexy young woman who was going places. The lad was ok looking, but obviously he didnít do it for my boss like I did. One day I asked my boss for a meeting to discuss a wage increase. When I was in his office he asked me to suck him off while pretending to be a little girl. I did. I got my pay rise. Thatís what I think feminism means to my generation. You have to have balls. And a good pair of hair straighteners.í