Once Upon a Month by Incognito

4 Reasons to Say "Thank You" to Feminism

June 23rd, 2014

Marie
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I know, I know, it's not exactly a sexy topic these days. ;)

Many people (men and women alike) sigh when it's discussed. But what they're less aware of is that feminism was once wickedly sexy! Put the prejudices out of your mind for a few minutes and let's take a look at four rights that we (women) wouldn't have it not for the accomplishments of XXth century feminism!

1. Voting rights.

Thanks to strong, bold women like Marie Gérin-Lajoie, Thérèse Casgrain and Idola St-Jean, Québécois women won the right to vote in 1940 (an average of 20 years later than women in other provinces). You can't imagine the extent to which women have been ridiculed, criticized, and booed for demanding the right to vote so that half of humanity could participate in democratic life!

2. Studying in a field of our choice.

Up until the 1920s, a woman was not allowed to pursue her education past high school because it was considered useless: women were expected to raise children and take care of the home. Feminists fought tooth and nail to have the right to practice professions such as medicine, engineering, law and notarial professions and to be able to go into business! Without these courageous pioneers, where would we be today?

3. Keeping your maiden name.

Imagine: being called "Mrs. Paul-Émile Thibodeau! Let me think about that: no thank you! At the time, a woman was not able to sign a contract, seek legal damages, or open a bank account without having first obtained her husband's authorization (and what kind of predicament was a woman in if her hubby was useless in math?).

4. Have an abortion.

In the past, women needed to go see, at their own risk, charlatans with unsterilized instruments in scary apartments to abort a pregnancy. Of course, in that epoch we also didn't have access to contraception, which SERIOUSLY changes a woman's life…

I could also go on about women's battle for the right to ride a bike and do so for hours... Let's just say that if you want to roll your eyes when you hear the word feminism, think about what we owe to this movement! Besides, feminism is the only word ending in "ism" that caused an immense revolution without shedding a single drop of blood!

Now isn't that sexy? 

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About the author

Marie is the big sister we all dream of having. She’s the person we always go to for advice, who reassures us and transforms tears of sorrow...