Actress Ashley Judd performs on stage during the Women's March rally in Washington on January 21. In  a global exclamation of defiance and solidarity, more than one million people rallied at women's marches in America's  capital and cities across the world.
Actress Ashley Judd performs on stage during the Women's March rally in Washington on January 21. In a global exclamation of defiance and solidarity, more than one million people rallied at women's marches in America's capital and cities across the world. Jose Luis Magana

Shout out the 'f' word for all women

WHILE normally this column is designed to bring a slice of humour to sexual politics, I can't let this tumultuous week for women worldwide - and, make no mistake, for men everywhere - pass without comment. And on behalf of my girlfriends, our mothers, our sisters and our daughters, I feel I need to put on my pink pants.

As Donald Trump took power, women globally came out in force to declare themselves feminists, "nasty” women, goddesses, bitches and whatever other word has been used for women in what has become a gender war, the ripples of which are echoing in every western country.

In a day of nationwide rallies in the United States, as well as protests in Australia, celebrities including Ashley Judd, Madonna and Scarlett Johanssen, as well as feminist icon Gloria Steinhem, and activist Michael Moore stood up for women's rights that are human rights, as did millions of women - and men.

You might be wondering what this means for you, right here, right now. Well, like the former president Barack Obama, and the many men photographed at the rallies, if you are a man you would do your partner, girlfriend, and women everywhere a service by now declaring yourself a feminist. Yes, we are using the f word, and I suggest that you do too, if you know which side of the bed your slippers are on.

Trump's proposals to defund Planned Parenthood, which provides contraceptive and health advice, his moves towards restricting abortion rights, and his attitude towards women as sex symbols or prostitutes, are the stuff of women's nightmares. As women, it is a reminder of just how far we have come since our place was at home, and how quickly some of our hard-fought wins may be eliminated. It's a bit hard to joke about that.

Like Ashley Judd, I would like to declare myself a "nasty” woman. I don't believe that being a woman means you have to be subservient, a sex symbol, a tool of chauvinistic males for gratification or a human being without opinions or, indeed, rights over your own body. I also happen to think women can put out their own garbage, bury a dead animal and do a grease and oil change themselves, although I'm not saying it isn't great when men offer to do it instead.

But, more importantly, I'd declare myself and all the women I know "goddesses”. In their beauty, their femininity, their strength, their compassion, their ability to be both mothers and workers, their sensuality and their sexuality, women everywhere embody the sacred. Worship at our feet, if you like, but just worshipping the fabulous feminists that we are will be enough. Yes there's the f word again and one that you'll hear a lot about during the new president's term of office, guaranteed.



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