Real feminists don’t wear pussy hats!

I’m going to say it. I’m a feminist. This is fact. But not the flag-waving, man-hating, vagina-hat-wearing feminist. No, my feminist uniform is a pair of red coveralls with the name Herb printed neatly over the right breast pocket. They smell faintly of shit, because sometimes I need to wear them on the truck that pumps grey water (or worse) out of your septic tank.

You see, I believe strongly that women can do anything men can. From running multinational companies, to leading entire counties. I believe so vehemently in this concept, that I am willing to do the shittiest of jobs, some typically reserved for males. I’m not trying to prove a point, but rather trying to get the job done.

So, here’s the thing, regardless of the job, it must be done. I will elect to employ whomever I can, to do it well. Is it possible that there are more men out there, than women, who are capable of shifting a 13-speed tandem axel truck and lugging around 100lb hoses than women? Probably. Which is why there are mostly men driving our trucks. If a woman came that could do the job, I think I would likely hire her.

If we were to apply this to the corporate world, I might see similar ratios, which is frankly a bit discouraging. I know there are many factors at play and I know ‘The Old Boy’s Club’ is alive and well in some organizations. The glass ceiling is not some figment of the female collective’s imagination. Men, tend to move higher in management and leadership roles than women. If we are still asking for equity in the workplace, doesn’t that say something about the speed at which things are changing? Yes, it’s well past due. So ladies, how about let’s quit bitching and moaning about it and do something to change it. Preferably, something that doesn’t involve wearing clothing that looks like genitalia.

Ok. I realize many people are already rolling their eyes and muttering under their breath, “Nice. Another pot-shot at us guys.” Nope. Not this time. I don’t know if I can speak for the entire demographic, but females don’t want you to step aside and give us the positions we are wanting. We want you to step aside so that we can be seen doing the same thing that you do. As a feminist, I appreciate that men do amazing things and I’m beyond ecstatic that they continue doing so. I actually suck at shifting a 13-speed. So, keep being great at the things you do and we will keep appreciating your skills, but could you please return the favour? And if I really suck at something, I would ask that you allow someone more capable to do the job. I absolutely will not be offended if that person is a man, but I would hope that you would give another female the same opportunity to prove herself.

Equality doesn’t mean you give me a certain job, because I happen to have female parts and two X-chromosomes. In fact, that might be the greatest insult you could bestow upon me. Since when does being female make me a better lawyer or political leader or shit-truck driver? I would choose an awesome male brain surgeon over a mediocre female one any day of the week. Let me put it another way. If you are a great chef, and I’m a great chef, I want to be similarly compensated and promoted. I may even step up into your spotlight. However, if I’m a great teacher (but a crappy chef) and I want your ‘great chef’ limelight, that’s just silly. Unfortunately, the fact remains that many women are still waiting for any light to grace our space. Fuck waiting. Step up in whatever role you have and be your best. Demand the attention that you are deserving. And while you are at it, ask for that promotion.

Let’s quit blaming misogynistic, patriarchal society for our woes. Let’s not find more ways to fragment the human race. Let’s quit trying to promote women, because they are women. Let’s promote them, because they are smart and skilled and creative and exemplary leaders. I know, not rocket science. Give us equal access to the jobs we are after. Then provide equal pay, for doing equal work. It hasn’t always been that way, and it is damn time for us to step up into the light.