Feminism

Written by Rachael Cheeseman

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My grandmother leans in.

A conspiritorial whisper to match the glimmer in her eyes.

"When i first got married, a woman couldn't buy furniture without permission from her husband."

I laugh.

But it's not funny.

She's trying to tell me something.

Something important.

I'm too young to realise.

 

It's the 90's

Girl power is the buzz word.

Girls wear tank tops and short shorts and people pretend it's not about sex.

I'm not allowed to wear trousers to school. Or a jumper.

Girls wear skirts and cardigans.

But if a boy sees your underwear, your in trouble. So girls don't run too fast.

Girls don't climb trees.

We laugh it off.

But it's not funny.

My mother wants to buy a car.

The salesman can't hide his surprise as we approach.

His voice drips as condescending words trip from his tongue.

He won't sell her anything.

Not without her husband there.

She doesn't understand.

He laughs But it's not funny.

 

It's a new millennium.

Things are different now.

That's what they tell us.

At school, girls can only play netball.

Basketball is for boys.

Girls can only play tag rugby.

Rough sports are for boys.

Girls can't study electronics

Girls can't study engineering

Girls can't study woodwork

But we're allowed to wear trousers now, so i guess it's okay.

 

It's 2018

The wage gap is what we're all talking about.

Feminism is a dirty word.

We know about rape culture and victim blaming but nothing actually seems to be changing.

I tell a friend I'm a feminist.

She laughs But it is not funny.