I have written approximately three drafts for pieces that I never uploaded because they all seemed boring, lacked originality or were just plain uninspiring. And I knew this was not due to a lack of subjects to discuss, or the fact that there were no issues that, from a feminist perspective, caught my eye.
And then today I ran into a piece published in The Guardian by Kira Cochrane entitled "Now, the backlash" an insightful, well-rounded and poignnant piece on the backlash of feminism. Touching upon subjects such as the prevalence of sexual harassment, the declining rates of rape conviction in the UK, discrimination in the workplace and the obsession with female celebrities and their pregnancies, just a few statistics are enough to acknowledge that the feminist agenda has accomplished a lot, and much more is pending.
Even though women have come a long way, we are still underpaid, underemployed, undervalued (devalued?), and under protected by the law. Furthermore, some of the rights we thought were guaranteed now suddenly are being discussed again. One, clearly being the issue of abortion rights (recently discussed in the UK and currently being discussed in the Supreme Court for Mexico City's case). It seems that birthing is attractive when being carried out by Angelina Jolie, but if you happen to be her employer, according to statistics provided by Cochrane, 68% would rather not have hired her (given that it is illegal for an employer to ask a woman about her family plans).
Still, I am a positive person at heart, and found Cochrane's theory of this backlash somewhat uplifting. It is exactly the small gains, the baby steps if you will, that strengthen this backlash. The feminist debate is growing, and maybe the backlash is indeed a sort of pendulum reaction to the accomplishments achieved other the past decades. As Professor Liz Kelly, chair of the End Violence Against Women campaign, very eloquently explains: "What a backlash does is it curtails us, but we never take those two steps back, and that's what I think can send the conservatives...and the rightwingers...absolutely wild...What do they think we're going to do?... Go back into the kitchen and make a sandwich?"