I’ve never really considered myself to be a feminist, in fact in my younger years I was probably the opposite. My views were quite traditional and I wasn’t opposed to a patriarchal society. Apparently it’s Women’s Day and so I’ve reflected on myself and I think I am actually very much a feminist, probably more so than the average woman as these days I think most women consider themselves a feminist i.e. fighting for/ believing in equal rights.
There are five things about me that I think ‘make me’ a feminist if that’s a thing!
- Momma Boss
- Fighting at work
- Keep my name
- Maternity rights
I like to think of myself as somebody that ‘breaks the mould’ in terms of a traditional woman. I’m a full time working momma which is still out there as a massive debate amongst women whether we should work and be equals or be ‘kept’ women because we stay at home with the kids. Obviously the traditional role is to stay at home. But more importantly than that, I do a job that has historically been done by men and when I started at the age of 23 I was the youngest female manager (to my knowledge) in the company and I was the only female on my district for a long time!
I could write a book on how I’ve survived a male dominated industry as I have sort of invented a few management techniques that men frown upon. I’d describe myself as a maternal manager which seems a bit contradictory to say I’m doing a man’s job in a motherly style but that’s why I could write a book…
Fighting at Work.
Not violence! I just don’t go down without a fight and I don’t care who I’m standing up to, I’ll stand up and won’t sit down until I’m ready. A few years ago I found out that the manager that I took over from was on £4k more than I was on, I was running the same venue with the same job title so I decided it wasn’t good enough and I got myself a pay rise. That story is one for my book. It was a clever little plan.
A lot of my colleagues would say that I’m quiet which I do come across as, until there is something a believe in then I don’t shut up. I’m not scared of corporate head office people either, I’ll say what I think which some people say you shouldn’t do but I have a saying, “at the end of the day we all go home and put our pyjamas on.” It means people are just people. Your value or worth within the company hierarchy might be greater but in life we’re all equal as people so I’ll speak to somebody as a person not a “yes boss, no boss” kind of approach. I don’t care if your pyjamas are Armani and mine are Primarni, we’re people and that’s something we have in common.
Keeping my Name.
Well sort of, I’m a double barrel Mrs!
There are a few reasons I wanted to keep my name. First of all I’m the last Eden! My Dad had 3 sisters and then 3 daughters so all of his sisters have married names, my younger sister has a married name and my older sister gave her boys her partners surname so I was the last chance. Ollie, Ted and Dave are double barrel too. We’re a union of two families not one joining the other.
It is also part of my identity, I’m an Eden! Being married doesn’t take that away from me.
I have #misCOURAGE. I am willing to speak up about a ‘taboo’ subject. Why does it have to be a secret? I’m sorry if you feel awkward and don’t know what to say but women need to speak out. If we hear more stories we might find more answers! Imagine if all the silent miscarriage Mommas had one simple thing in common that could be a breakthrough in research?! Speak up!
If you follow me you know how much I’ve written on the subject so I won’t write too much on it for this blog post!
Maternity rights. I feel very strongly about maternity rights and discrimination in the workplace, I’ve written about it before and I get really annoyed when I hear stories. I can imagine myself becoming a family rights rep or something!
This is an area where we are really behind as a society. Having a baby doesn’t need to massively impact on your career but unfortunately it really does leave a massive dent for so many women. It shouldn’t be such a big either/or choice when it comes to deciding whether to work or stay at home. The childcare costs and rules for funding need to be readdressed, maternity leave rules and rights are not sufficient in my opinion. And I think we’re a long way off in terms of family rights when it comes to shared parental leave and flexible working.
The workplace doesn’t need to be so rigid these days.
There are so many aspects of so many jobs that can be done online these days which could easily afford moms and dads to work from home at least one day per week and continue to work full time and provide for their children. Yet suggesting this to many bosses would be viewed as ‘skiving off’ just because you’ve got a kid now or not being ‘focused’ on your work because you have a toddler doing a puzzle while you write a report. If anything it makes you more focused on your work as you have little people dependent on you.
It is in fact a self fulfilling prophecy, you get treated differently for being a working momma and so eventually give up and choose motherhood over career and it looks like moms can’t hack the workplace but we can if you just flipping well let us get on with it and understand. Well, bosses should understand all of their workers and their circumstances not just moms but hey maybe thats just my maternal, frowned upon management style!
I always like the baddies! Haha! I connect with a strong female in a film. Maleficent, ‘Evil’ Stepmother in Cinderella and the Queen of Hearts are some of my favourite Disney characters! They’re just misunderstood.
All wedding photography in my blog is by the wonderful Ed Brown Photography!