At University it seems that whenever I get passionate about an issue regarding women in some way, usually after my friends in Psychology or Counselling attend a lecture about are exposed to some angry revolutionary from the Second Wave, I am met with a disgusted, "Are you a feminist?"
Well, yes I am, thank-you very much.
What angers me in this situation is that no matter how calmly I express my point, using as much reason and restraint I can muster, the chauvinist merely smirks and cracks a joke about how a "woman's place" is in the kitchen. Sometimes, when the man is completely lacking in the required creativity it takes to repeat a joke that someone else has has already told me too many times, he simply demands a sandwich.
I guess part of the problem is that, men and women, have been allowed to become complacent. I see it all the time at university, students drifting about and using the three years it takes to obtain a degree as a buffer between adolescence and adulthood. Some have absolutely no direction at all and merely attend university to escape their parents. Others are truly inspiring individuals who cling to every opportunity presented to them because they need it to grow and develop into self-actualised human beings; but these are disappointingly a minority at my university. University has become a time-consuming transaction to purchase access to the middle-classes. This change in student's expectations has altered the type of education we therefore receive; it is changed into a hoop jumping exercise with learning objectives aimed at passing assessments rather than developing life skills.
Where are the mass student demonstrations that occurred in history? After all, was it not students who began the Hungarian Revolt? Was the White Rose group in Nazi Germany not a student organisation aimed at proliferating anti-Hitler propaganda? I have known of only one student protest in my two years as a student, The Demo-lition.
It is this level of complacency that is allowing ignorance in both men and women to breed; If this is allowed to continue unchecked then what we will soon face is social regression. Violations upon our rights will go uncontested, resulting in evermore disastrous infringements until nothing is left but the life that women have previously striven so hard to improve. The Glass Ceiling Effect needs to be challenged, as do gender roles and the UK's Government Budget Cuts. If we want changes we need to be prepared to make them happen.
My generation, like those before, needs to join the debate and start questioning the world around them. Is this the world you want to live in?