The F Word and You: Lisa Ryan

 What does feminism mean to you?

To me, feminism is believing in a movement that works to gain equality for everyone, regardless of gender. It isn’t about burning bras and man-hating, infact, I love my pretty bras way too much for that, and I’m not exactly against the opposite sex either. It means standing up for equal rights, for both men and women, and making a stand when wrong is being done.

When did you realise you were a feminist?

I don’t think it was a moment of “Oh, I’m a feminist”, it was more a slowburning thing. Being surrounded by other feminists in college, moreso than in secondary school, has certainly heightened this. Also being in jobs which have incited my inner angry feminist, by delegating certain jobs to a certain gender (one ex-employer told me that they don’t hire boys as a rule, seeing as, you know, there was a kitchen involved. She wasn’t kidding.) that has certainly brought it to the fore.

What issue/area is most important to you?

Employment issues (as seen above) are ones which really manage to get me riled up, but also the issues surrounding abortion and rights of the single parent. To me, the fact that just because a parent isn’t married should not affect their right towards seeing their child, the fact that the right of a woman to control her own body has been taken over by the states opinion – these are wrong, and these are things that our generation needs to work towards to get changed.

What do you say to people who say “I’m not a feminist but….”

This conversation tends to go “Well, why not?”. Being a feminist doesn’t mean you think women are better than men, and I think this is a very mixed message which a lot of people don’t pick up on. Most do realise when its pointed out to them, that by them believing that women can do what men can do, and vice versa, that they are indeed feminists.

Its more the ones that say “Oh, so you’re one of those” that drives me insane, and at times I’ve literally just had to shut up and try to block them out.

Where do you see the feminist movement going in the future?

Hopefully towards a place of broader acceptance. I think it has a lot further to go, in that there are still a lot of people who believe its all about the “crazy women who hate men”. We’re just looking for equal rights, its not that much to ask.

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