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Lifestyle, Fashion & Travel Online Magazine by Laura
Mykonos, Mikonos, Greece

Personal Style & Advice: Some Thoughts on Gender Equality, Identity & Feminism

Is the world evolving in a very one-sided way? Here are some of thoughts on the importance of true equality, by Rosa Fairfield.

Photographs by Linda Smith

It's mid-afternoon and I'm sitting on a coach heading towards Manchester Airport. I desperately want to catch up on some sleep but that's not going to happen because there are some people at the front of the coach talking very loudly... so instead, I end up listening to their conversation:

Women: "Look at that bright pink car."
Man: "That's ridiculous."
Women: "Yeah... it's got to be a women driving that, if it's a man he has to be gay."
Man: "Yeah... either that or there would have to be something seriously wrong with him."

This conversation made me so angry... because, when I thought about it... if the car was blue (a colour that is stereotypically associated with men) and a woman was driving the car, no one would blink a eye lid. The same goes for clothing. If a women wears a pair of trousers (an item that used to be only for men) it's just a normal occurrence but if a man started walking around in a dress, he'd get lots of odd looks and abusive comments.

I think gender equality is developing in a kind of unequal way... that we are fighting for a world where women and men are equal, and although we are not there yet, we have made progress... which is amazing. Yet, it feels like there is still a massive imbalance between masculinity and femininity and the latter is looked down upon... which, I think is completely wrong. It feels like, that in certain professions, if you want to be a women and be taken seriously, you have to hide your feminine side. I also hate how, that if a man has more of a feminine side, he is instantly made fun of or his sexuality is questioned (when sexuailty and gender roles don't necessary go hand in hand.)

One day I hope we live in a world, that no matter what someone's gender idenity is or if they are feminine, masculine, androdanious or anywhere in-between, then that should be accepted. I also think that for true gender equality, the genderqueer spectrum also needs to be widely recognised and respected. This is a completed issue when it comes to bathrooms and changing rooms, if you identity as neither gender or one that is different from your assigned birth gender.

What is more annoying is that many forms and questionnaires, still only have male and female check boxes. This is also a huge problem for people who may be questioning their gender identity or don't fully know what it is.

It's not just gender equality either, I think we also need to understand that equality is a much bigger issue and that every sub-group deserves equal rights and respect... if that is to do with race, size, sexuality, disabilities, religion or anything else. Sarah Jessica Parker said something to this effect in an interview a while ago, and the article was turned around to make it look like she said she didn't believe in feminism. It was so wrong for her to be portrayed in that way... because to believe in equality, then feminism is part of that.