Why The Battle For Gender Equality Is Still Waging In Australia
The year is 2015.
Everywhere you look, the cars are becoming shinier, sleeker and more fuel-efficient.
We eat our meals from microwaveable pouches, and we can access pretty much anything we need on the smartphones attached to our hands.
In 2010, Australia appointed its first female prime minister. The foreign minister is currently female.
At one point, the majority of state leaders were also female. And the richest Australian person? Yeah, she's female.
As women, we can do almost anything we like.
The 50s housewife who lives only to serve her man, cook a good meal and keep a tidy home is long gone.
We can still make the choice to do that with our lives if we wish, but it's a definite choice, not an expectation.
Some might say we've won the fight for gender equality.
However, almost any empowered woman will likely tell you a very different story.
We are not free to breastfeed our children in public without a fight.
We are still fighting with mainstream women's magazines to feature women with a body fat percentage above 10, and we are still expected to dedicate our lives and our bodies to making babies.
We are, however, absolutely free to choose.
I am currently choosing a life of dating in Australia.
I like to date a few men, but I normally only sleep with one at a time. I am completely honest with these men about what I want. I am also safe.
I meet (mostly) wonderful men, and we might go on a date or two. We might sleep together for a few weeks, but we'll both still remain on Tinder and go on other dates.
Why not? This is all I am looking for.
I find the honeymoon period fun, and after two long-term, serious relationships, I just want a bit of excitement.
I am open. I am honest. I am safe.
We are absolutely not free to act without judgment, though.
It blows my mind that people who are not affected whatsoever by the men I choose to keep in my sheets can have such strong opinions about my behavior.
From the pitiful ("You're not respecting yourself") to the harsh ("You're a slut"), the general consensus seems to be I'm "handing out the popsicles for free," while looking for a long-term partner.
I’ve been called a man-eater and a selfish whore.
I have some very close male friends who live their lives similarly to mine. They go out, bring women home, have a night of fun and often never see them again.
They can be with a different woman every weekend. As long as they aren’t hurting themselves or anybody else, no one seems to bat an eyelash.
Their friends regard them as legends.
They are bachelors. They are living their lives. They will settle down, if and when they are ready to.
They've never been told they need to make better choices. They’ve never had friends tell them to start treating themselves with some respect.
Nobody has ever looked at one of them with pity and said, "It’s so sad that he thinks he's having fun, when clearly he just wants to find a wife."
The year is 2015.
We have fought for so long, but the fight is not over yet.
So, let your flag fly.
If you want to sleep around, do it.
If you want to date, do it.
If you want to get married, have two kids and bake cookies before the school pick up, do it.
If you want to live on a mountain with 50 cats, bloody well do it.
But, let’s stop assuming everyone else wants the same life as we do.