A few minutes later, I added another tweet, a summary of an argument I have been posing to young women who say they are not feminists and owe nothing to feminism: for you I’m-not-a-feminists, in 1979 aged 28, when I applied for a store credit card the form had to be signed by my husband or father.
This incident took place in a now-defunct department store in Canada where I was a graduate student, and the male clerk on the other side of the desk witnessed me blow up like a nuclear bomb in his face. When, years later, observing the beginnings of a backlash against feminism, I asked I’m-not-a-feminist women if they were happy to bring back the times when their finances were controlled by male family members they were obviously shocked. Of course not. So who got rid of these requirements? Feminists did, by kicking up a fuss. And so my little contribution to International Women’s Day was to remind younger women that the rights they take for granted were achieved by those feminists with whom they feel they have nothing in common, rights which did not always exist, even in their own lifetimes.
… Some men tweeted me that they were cringing in shame at what they were reading; others dismissed my original tweet about the credit card application as an example of long ago, completely missing the point that the intention was to demonstrate that women’s equality has not always existed like grass and trees and had to be fought for.
Appropriately, I heard about this on twitter, so thanks to @mytiroo for telling me about it.
Cross-posted at blue milk.