My mother is very proud to say she is a feminist. She says it loudly in crowded places, debates about the meaning of it with her similarly feminist friends, and generally acts like a forward thinking modern woman, with her high powered job, her equal rights marriage and her no bull approach to the world. I however, whisper slightly apologetically that I am a feminist.
Don't get me wrong Reader, it's not that I'm ashamed to be a feminist. Far from it, I think the feminist movement has done great work and we are slowly reaching a truly equal world thanks to the fabulous women that have fought over thousands of years so that I can vote, work, have maternity leave and choose who I marry. It's just that I am a really really bad one. If the feminist cause found out how useless I am, they would probably toss me out on my ear for being bad advertising.
The thing is Reader, that I bake. Not only do I bake, I bake wearing red and white polka dot aprons with matching oven gloves. Sometimes in a fifties dress. Usually for my boyfriend. (Hides under a rock before I get attacked). And that isn't really such a bad thing in my head, apart from when I catch myself going 'Ooh, maybe I'll just whip him up a little cake, he's so stressed out, he deserves it'. See, I bake to show that I care. Constantly. I bake for birthdays, Parties, valentines day, anniversaries, glum days and happy days. Then I get angry if people don't eat my food because what is on the plate isn't JUST a chocolate heart shaped cookie, it's actually all of my feelings for that person. So by being too full after a 3 course roast dinner to eat whatever baked goods I present to them, they are spurning me. How dare they. And although it's completely irrational, sometimes I get stroppy and thing 'Where's my cake? Where's my love in the form of a lemon meringue pie?' So I go on a silent strike and don't bake anything. Although no one really notices, because lets face it, what sane person looks at a gathering of people and goes 'Wait, people, hang on just a sec......WHERE'S THE CHOCOLATE HAZELNUT CAKE?' No one. That's who! Then I forget what I'm being huffy about and don my red and white polka dot apron again.
Of course, baking isn't the only thing that marks me out as a bit crap in the feminism department. Even my parents refer to me as 'the house frau' because I am such a home maker. I have an addition to scatter cushions. And little wooden boxes that serve no purpose apart from to make the place look cheerier. I lust after Smeg fridges and my 'calm thought' is when I think about the house I might have one day.
Also, and this is the really shameful bit. I love chick flicks. I am doing an acting masters, and I regularly choose Bridget Jones over the latest Bafta nominated gritty films. This is probably the thing that makes me a truly awful feminist. I go all gooey over the ending in films where the woman finally gets the man of her dreams and they go off hand in hand into the HD sunset. Now, the intellectual part of me goes 'NO! NO! Women do NOT need a man to make them happy! For God's sake Ash, pull yourself together woman!' The other 80% of me goes 'AWWWW, Bless, de'yre gownna get mawwied and have babies!'
I'm sorry feminist Over-Ladies, I know I've done wrong, I'll go without a fight, It's a fair cop!
Saying that, I still like to think I'm a modern day Boudicca/Xena the Warrior Princess and have a tendency to tell people off for telling sexist jokes. I've slapped 2 men in the past for being horrible sexist wankers (one tried to grope me on a French metro, one used a drunken friend without remorse). I read 'Eve Was Framed' and loved every page of it and god forbid anyone who doesn't hire me based on my sex alone. If a man ever tells me to get back in the kitchen, he'll be lucky to survive with any testicles left (even if, yes, I would rather prefer to be in there) and I am furious over the lack of roles in the film world for women from 35 upward (which I have to say, I think is where most women's lives really begin).
Well, maybe I am a good feminist after all. Albeit on that bakes. And constantly quotes Bridget Jones.