Ok... so maybe I am a feminist.
Back in October, I wrote a blog distancing myself from feminism. After some reflection, I think perhaps I was rash in deciding I wasn't a feminist.
I still don't relate to aggressive and misjudged feminism, where women pounce on any whiff of 'sexism', without considering whether it actually is sexist. For example, builder wolf-whistles to woman. Not sexist (in my view, of course), just an immature man who doesn't know how to behave around attractive women.
This, I maintain, is still damaging to the cause, as it detracts from those instances where men do need to be told: you're being a misogynistic pig.
Which brings me to what prompted me to write this post - and I do not blog very often.
Meet cycling enthusiast Cathy Bussey, who, on Monday, wrote a piece for the Telegraph. (Oh, and she has a book out soon, too).
She tells us "forget road safety: discover the real reasons normal women don't cycle".
Apparently, "it's not just high heels and road safety fears that stops normal women from getting on bikes". Take note the young influential teenage girl who may be reading this: if you don't wear high heels, you're not normal, ok?
Bussey continues: "To get women cycling we need to show them how they can cycle to work and still look presentable for a meeting with the boss at 10am".
So now we're automatically assuming said "normal" woman isn't the boss. Got it.
Over to Bussey: "We need to show we understand that issues like showering and changing, helmet hair, transporting makeup and cosmetics to and from work and having somewhere to plug in a hairdryer aren't just superficial 'vanity' but really do matter to many women - not all women, granted, but many".
Helmet hair? DEAR GOD. And transporting makeup and cosmetics to work? She makes it sound as if we need a juggernaut. And if you don't need one? Well then you're not normal, sorry.
"The everyday commuter with her panniers stuffed full of travel-sized cosmetics, towel and change of clothes". I don't actually have a perspiration problem, thanks. Neither do I need a towel and panniers "stuffed full" of make-up just because I broke into a slight sweat on my brow on the way in. Paper tissues in the toilet will do fine, thanks.
"Make champions of all women on bikes", Bussey says. Why? Why do we need to make champions of women on bikes. We're just women on bikes. I don't want to get a slap on the back because I managed to cycle to work and still look "presentable" for a meeting with the boss. I'm a very capable woman, thank you very much, and I don't need a medal to tell me that either.
And so, to conclude with a disclaimer: After the barrage of vicious comments and tweets following my original post, I'm sure I will be inundated again with members of the public saying I can't suddenly change my opinion on feminism.
Well guess what. I can, and I have.Suggest a correction