| 5.5°C Dublin

Is it now time for the feminists to ditch the marching boots? TOTALLY: They’ve meddled enough

THOSE wretched bra-burning feminists have a lot to answer for. If it wasn't for their persistent meddling, my generation could be happily stirring stews on the stove now instead of banging our heads off glass ceilings and wasting our cash on charcoal power suits.

Sure, it may not be PC to admit it, but there are times when I'd love to throttle the person who fought for the removal of the Civil Service marriage bar. Had I been born 30 years earlier, I'd be financially secure for life now, tethered by a high-earning husband and busily rearing a gaggle of kids.

Instead, the last generation taught us to expect it all -- the dazzling career, the perfect marriage and adorable kids, along with the palatial residence and hectic social life.

Now, I'm all for feminism in moderation, particularly the aspects that secured everything from voting rights to education, to contraception for women. And I'm also grateful for the equality rulings that mean women can reach the higher echelons of any industry.

But that, I fear, is where the gratitude ends. Dare I suggest that the generation before mine has done more harm than good with its feminist ideals.

A friend of mine has spent most of her 20s yearning for a rich man who will sweep her off her feet with a giant diamond, plant her into a fully fitted kitchen and set her on the path to domestic bliss and multiple child production.

I used to ridicule her, describing her as a sure contender for the Calor Housewife of the Year competition, when they eventually revive it. Now I'm reconsidering my earlier scorn. You see, this same friend also has a string of third-level and professional qualifications as well as a high-powered job.

Nobody could accuse her of lacking in ambition. And yet she has decided that, having viewed the glass ceiling, she would rather keep her wrinkle-free face and glossy hair intact than attempt to break it.

Escaped

I figure she's ahead of the posse on this one, realising that women can't always have it all. That's the problem with feminism. Once we got everything we were entitled to, we wanted more, and more, and more. When we'd escaped the kitchen sinks and conquered the working world, we decided we didn't want to give up on the perks of femininity such as child-bearing -- yet still expected to be treated the very same as the opposite sex.

Ladies, that joke is well and truly on us. Just look at former French justice minister Rachida Dati, a woman who inspired awe for rising to such a pivotal role in a male-dominated arena. Then she ruined it all by taking just five days off for the birth of her child.

Most women who undergo a Caesarean section would be barely able to sit upright by then, but Ms Dati strutted into parliament in a cutting-edge power suit. She, like so many women, appears to be labouring under the misguided belief that women are equal to men. Mark my words, we're not. We're different, not worth more or less than our male counterparts, just different. Here's hoping mine is the generation that realises, having benefited from the hard-fought battles of our mothers, that it's perfectly fine not to have it all and to pick and choose our goals instead of having them forced upon us.

By the time we've got that sorted out, they'll have resurrected the Calor Housewife competition.

And yours truly will surely make it to the final.


Privacy