Women in the World

I can only speak from the perspective of a woman because I am one and I have come to discover as I grow older that it is a beautiful thing but it is also very hard. It is a tug of war between what society views a woman to be and our prerogative to just be.

Let’s start with the superficial; we wax/shave – our legs, our armpits, our pubes and for those who’s genes give in abundance you can add on forearms and upper-lips – because it is unsightly for a woman; however, a man can get away with the caveman look. I personally like the silky smooth feeling I get after the pain and irritation subsides but when I don’t feel like going through the admin of it all and let things go for a while I would like to not hear snide remarks about grooming. Are we telling our men to groom?! It’s silly when you think about it but it’s annoying nonetheless.

Here’s an interesting fact that may hit home for all of us. It’s the bane of every woman’s existence, the right of passage in many cultures that initiates us into womanhood and the gift that keeps on giving even if we haven’t asked for it and don’t appreciate it. The Period. What adds insult to injury is that sanitary pads and tampons are taxed – here in South Africa there is a flat VAT (value added tax) for all items at a rate of 14% unless they are considered essentials (think bread, milk, fruit and veg) but in other countries like the UK there is a luxury tax on these items. How ludicrous! As if it is a luxury to maintain hygiene and feel that you can still function in your everyday tasks without displaying your time of the month for everyone to see.

You can read an article here or watch Stella Creasy’s proposal to amend the Finance Bill here.

Hopefully, you can start to see the tug of war I’m referring to between the beauty of being a woman and the hardships we face. Carrying and bringing forth life is beautiful but it seems the other half of society that doesn’t have the burden to carry has relegated us to a corner where we are insidiously told to deal with it silently. We need to open up our eyes to these injustices and make the changes we wish to see by standing together and supporting these causes.

You can sign the petition here, I have added my signature along with 276 762 other supporters and counting 🙂