Paula's Place

Paula's Place

Monday, 13 May 2013

A Good Time to be a Woman


I heard a piece on the radio this morning commenting about the amount of misogyny still around, the comment was made that although this is probably the best time ever to have been a woman, especially a white western middle class woman, a lot of modern women still experience an awful lot of prejudice, restriction and violence.   It does worry me that even in the UK at the beginning of the twenty first century we still do not have a situation where everyone has the same opportunities and entitlements, and is treated with the same respect.   This is something that I would hope people bear in mind when they have the opportunity to vote, these are bigger issues than whether we should stay in the EU or what the level of duty is on a can of lager.

I am perhaps in a very privileged position to be able to have an insight into the differences between how men and women are treated.   As a woman I often feel vulnerable, when I enter a strange room, not knowing what is going to greet me, just walking down a quiet dark street or on occasion just going about my day to day business.   This is something I never feel as a man, I long for the day when women don’t have to feel like this.   I want my daughter to be as free, in every way, as her male contemporaries.

It also lead me to thought that this must also be the best time we have yet had to be a trans woman, on Saturday evening we discussed how important the internet had been to many of us, in making us understand that we are not alone and what our options and alternatives are.   Growing up I felt so totally isolated on this, I was sure that I must be some sort of pervert and that I should keep this aspect of myself well and truly hidden.   For any one growing up now in a similar situation a simple web search will show that they are not alone, that many people manage to lead happy fulfilled lives either in the gender they identify as, or switching between, and that support and help is available.

We can now go out in public without fear, we can meet in public, we can be part of society.   Of course this is from the privileged position of a middle class white Western European experience.   It is better than it was but we are still not universally accepted there are still plenty of places and situations where a girl like me can be risking her very life just by admitting what she is, or by being seen in public.   This is why things like the International Day of Trans Remembrance and the upcoming International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia are so important.   I aim to be doing my bit for IDAHO on Saturday, what about you?
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