I had to read the list twice and slap myself to believe that they had actually put this word on there.
And perhaps what surprised me the most is over 45% of the readers had voted to do away with the word. Who are these people and what in god’s name are they thinking.
At a time when the debate is rich and engaging at a global level, we have a well-respected magazine place it on a “ban” list.
Why is the word “boys club” not on the list!
We are in an era, I believe, where the word feminist is no longer seen as a dirty word, feminism is seen as a movement, a demand for equality.
Because if we are not equal than what are we?
We are not bra burning, male hating monsters. We are level headed, smart, entrepreneurs who simply want equal representation at leadership levels, equal pay; not be among the world’s poorest, or refugees or be the victims of domestic and sexual violence.
We believe in and demand social, political and economic equality. And what may I ask is wrong with that?
For a moment let’s imagine if we did do away with the word. How would we describe ourselves then?
For a long time so many were afraid to be labelled feminists, I was one of them, not anymore, as more and more men and women join this movement it becomes richer and stronger and it starts to create a ripple effect, a revolution that will inspire and demand change.
We cannot be feminists quietly, by ourselves, in our own time, the movement requires men to join us to ensure that we have significant impact and influence.
I grew up in an environment where girls were not encouraged to be themselves, were spectators rather than participants, their ambitions were denied, their aspirations were only around marriage, yet the men were the opposite. And in many places in the world this culture still exists.
In Australia the debate is rich around the gender pay gap, which is currently at its highest, women in senior leadership positions, on boards and of course whether we legislate on quotas and targets.
So for Time magazine to put this word on a list of potential words to be banned is sadly a reflection of where we stand globally on this debate of equality.
The disappearance of this word would mean that we ignore, forget and deny generations of good men and women who have fought for us to have the right to vote, the right to work and now we fight for gender equality.
I would prefer to ban words such as “paygap”, “inequality”,” housewife”, “sexism”, “sexual harassment”
At a time when this is a global debate, why is gender equality not on the G20 agenda?
Our Prime Minister could easily lead this discussion and it is one that is worthy of a discussion at this level. However Mr Abbott has not been proactive on this issue. Women in Australia will retire on 40% less superannuation then men, they will pay more interest in their university loans then men simply because they will have children.
It will be 2089 before we achieve equal pay globally. That is 75 years and almost 3 generations away. We cannot let this happen, this is not the legacy I want to leave my children.
We all know that the issue of gender equality is not just a fight or an issue for women.
Yet the answer to the issues lies in the hands of our leaders. Our male leaders. Who if any of them will have the courage to actually start the ripple?