My name is Chris. I live with my girlfriend, Gemma, in South London.
I wanted to talk to her about gender equality.
Last week we had a BBQ in the garden after work.
I said ’Can I talk to you about gender equality?’
She said ’Where’s MY glass of wine?’
I said ’If I run upstairs and get the bottle, can I talk to you about gender equality?’
She said ’OK’.
We sat down to talk and I realised I was holding some BBQ tongs and she was reading a weight loss pamphlet. Was this gender equality? Was this OK?
I said ’Is this gender equality? Is this OK?’
She said ’Well… yes. We don’t subscribe to gender roles as defined by society’.
I waved the BBQ tongs and gestured to the pamphlet.
Then we talked about how we both feel like we choose what we want to do, rather than subscribing to gender stereotypes.
I said ’But what about me mowing the lawn and you wearing a face mask?’
She said ’What about you baking all the time? You’re the man but you’re not the breadwinner – you’re the bread maker.’
We talked about how men and women should be able to do what they want; what they’re interested in; what they enjoy. If that happens to be something that doesn’t fit with gender stereotypes, then that’s fine. But also if it does fit with gender stereotypes then that’s ok too. So long as we’re doing what we choose.
We talked for nearly an hour about what gender equality means to us, and what it means in our home. It was a long conversation, and hardly any of it is written down here. But we had the conversation. To me that feels like it’s the biggest part of the fight for gender equality – talking about it.
So that’s my deed. A conversation. A little check-in with my other half to make sure we’re getting it right; to make sure we’re equals; to make sure nobody is taking the piss; to make sure neither of us is pressured to be or act a certain way.
I think it’s probably the first time I’ve had that conversation with a partner.
I’d like to do it more often.