My housemates hate that I’m a feminist
Girl power though
During freshers’ week, my house was like any – bonding over Never Have I Ever, with awkward and embarrassing confessions building close friendships.
But as the drunken haze of Freshers week began to fade and our livers began to recover, we inevitably began to have sober discussions and learn more about each other beside what colour VK we liked to drink.
So imagine my horror when I casually announced that I was a feminist, much like someone would announce their love for T-Swizzle or having leftover kebab for breakfast, I was met with a deafening silence.
I identify quite strongly as a feminist. It may be because I came from an academic all girls school where we were all taught to be as ambitious as any man, or perhaps because I simply agree with the notion of equal rights between the sexes.
Either way I didn’t think I’d be alone in thinking this, especially since it’s now quite trendy to call yourself a feminist with everyone from Beyonce to Ed Milliband doing it.
Oh Shit, I thought, they already think I’m weird. After my “announcement” there was some awkward shuffling in the room, followed by some ignorant phrases such as “feminists just go too far”, and “you don’t really believe that you have it worse than men do you?” One housemate just outright said my views on women’s rights were “ridiculous”.
I was mainly shocked as it’s such a passion of mine. However, I really like these people and I wanted them to be my friends. So I decided that as painful as this was, we could all just agree to disagree.
Discussion was had about the lack of representation of women in parliament, with one housemate saying it was simply because the male candidates were better and warned against positive discrimination. I, on the other hand, suggested some kind of quota, but that went down about as well as the release of “Blurred Lines” in the feminist community.
We of course have been able to get over our differences and I still adore my friends. One of my lovely housemates found this jumper in H&M and ran over saying it was perfect for me.
On my mission to reeducate, I gave my male housemate “How to be a Woman” by Caitlin Moran (a fantastic feminist writer if anyone doesn’t know) as his secret Santa present, as well as the obligatory man thong.
Speaking to my friend, he told me “I believe in male and female equality, but I don’t believe that feminism promotes this correctly and therefore I will not identify as one.”
I will not lose friends who are in every other way exceptional human beings just because we have different opinions – but it doesn’t mean I’ll stop trying to change their minds.