In this blog we’re talking about different ideas of feminism, how to apply this into your business and your career and I am introducing a new term fun-feminism.
Why am I hosting this podcast? Because I know there’s many definitions of feminism and I believe it’s an ever evolving conversation. I wanted to give my point of view in 2022.
Do I call myself a feminist? YES!
Do I have a different definition than most feminists: YES!
I believe feminism is for everybody, not men-hating, not reactionary, but it should be actionable and ever-evolving.
Most of my clients & followers are women and I wanted to host this podcast for you to share with you my ideas on feminism and why you can’t ignore it, but what I believe could help you build a stronger business.
So first off I am going to share with you why I became a feminist and I am giving you 3 reasons that might inspire you too.
The first reason why I started becoming a full-blown feminist was once I heard that in the Netherlands 40% of women are not financially independent. I was following a political talent course and this is where I heard this and this was a number that made my head spin. For this podcast I was looking for worldwide numbers, but it was very hard finding studies, most of the studies are about a gender gap in pay, but that’s not what I am talking about here:
Financial independence is about being able to choose for yourself no matter what, having the freedom to walk out of a relationship that doesn’t work for you and if you have a family still be able to provide for them. And I am not judging you if you’re not, because in the Netherlands it’s very difficult to become financially independent: most of the home care lies in the mother’s hands, for instance because day care is extremely expensive (in a couple of years this will be subsidized by the government and I wonder what the numbers will be then). So for most families women work for the day care, instead of for themselves.
I will continue on this a bit further down this episode.
The second reason why I became a feminist is the Spice Girls; they introduced me to girl power and they completely empowered me.
Before I was 10 years old, I was a really shy girl and I was bullied really badly, the spice girls gave me confidence and helped me understand that I am in charge of my own life.
In a recent Spice Girls: How Girl Power Changed Britain (Channel 4) about the Spice Girls it was once again very clear that the late nineties were very far from female friendly, they literally stood up and changed the perspective on women.
And I am quoting a review from the Guardian here, about the late 90’s culture:
The Spice Girls emerged at a time when feminism was an unpopular concept, and the “ladette” was in the ascent. Sexism was fine, as long as it was couched in irony. When Geri “borrowed” the term “girl power” from the riot grrrl scene and the band Bikini Kill, it peddled what Sawyer calls “diluted feminism” to the masses. But, as Sawyer also points out, that “might lead you to the harder stuff”.
And I watched the Woodstock ‘99 documentary just a few weeks back. Thanks to the woke movement and new feminism, women are much safer currently than ever before in the western world.
But actually there;s still assault, for instance last weekend at the Formula 1 here in the Netherlands there were 25 cases of sexual assault. We’re not there yet, but we’re talking about it more openly.
Anyway, in my teenage years I was listening to pop music (which you can listen to on my Become Big Playlist on Spotify): Independent Woman from Destiny’s Child, Just a Girl from No Doubt, Madonna with what it feels like for a Girl and so on… and when I created this podcast I was wondering why I enjoyed this so much and I think for that reason we have to go back to when I was a baby, when my parents split up.
The third reason why I became a feminist is: At a very young age I was aware that there is a possibility I could end up alone and had to take care of myself.
Because this is what happened to my mother.
I literally saw what could happen.
So people who think that because I have a husband right now, I do not have to worry about making money, you are wrong: I actually do have to make money to make our ends meet. We have a very balanced financial relationship.
So from simple statistics to my personal situation I can say I know a lot about feminism and through the years I’ve always been very active on this.
Followed many female leadership courses, was active in the women’s movement in my political party and I created 2 exhibitions on 100 years of women’s voting rights in the Netherlands back in 2019.
So I know a great part, read a lot, talked a lot, formed my opinion.
And there’s one thing in feminism that I do not like and doesn’t speak to me at all which is:
Feminism is most of the time a ‘reactive’ statement or comparing the situation to what it’s like for men men.
In every case I think it’s very unwise to compare yourself to others (never compare yourself to other business owners, people who have your desired career, etc), especially in this situation.
So for instance the movement Lean In or A Seat at the Table suggests that you should mold yourself into the existing structures.
I strongly believe you shouldn’t have to and that you should start building your own table.
I know that there’s all sorts of advice to dress for the job you desire, or talk with a low tone of voice or stop giggling, but I hardly suggest you don’t.
Do not act like a man to get your way, but find the clients and jobs that fit you instead of the other way around.
This is why I am having a hate/ love affair with feminism.
Because it is important to stand up for yourself, but I believe you should be proactive instead of reactive.
I’ve listened to the Meghan Markle Podcast, archetypes, the one with Serena Williams and Mariah Carey and I loved hearing from Serana and Mariah, I really admire those women, but I was thinking: what does this lack? I have been debating with myself the whole time on this.
And there was one thing that I am noticing what women (and men) are doing for hundreds of years in time: complaining about other women and I don’t want to.
All the hate-mail or comments I am getting are from women by the way, never from men.
So how does this work, how far back can we go?
I’ve asked this question to historian Rosanne Schot, with whom I created one of the 100 years of voting rights exhibitions and she explains:
So if you’re listening to this I want to ask you what you can do to bring a bit more of fun-feminism to your life:
If you’ve heard my radical responsibility episode, you know that I am not a huge fan of being reactionary and just sharing memes and calling yourself an activist.
Activism is organizing, bringing people together, raise funds.
Yes in the case of abortion it’s very important to fight for better rights and yes you can demonstrate, and bring action to your local lawmakers. For instance in the Netherlands there is still a law in which pregnant women hardly have any rights. The organizations helping them ARE helping them, but the LAW is not for women.
And what I said at the beginning of the episode about women & financial independence and the case in the Netherlands, this still happens is very serious and should be solved through politics and you can influence that. But there’s also a lot you can do in your own surroundings.
- start with a small layer: your neighbor, your sister, your mother see if you can help them
- go start volunteering at a female led organization or an organization that supports women's rights, offer your services and if you could maybe help them in fundraising
- buy your products and services from women, I am seeing so many people make fun of women who try to make money online, I think it’s great that they’re putting themselves out there, buy from them, help them
- or maybe start something yourself, which also turns a profit
And be serious about this, have a plan in place, work towards your goals, take yourself seriously, because you CAN make a difference, the world needs you and people are willing to pay for it.
To close off, I want to thank my instagram and LinkedIn followers for having such lovely conversations in the dm’s about this especially Taylor, Paulien, Sabine and Hugo, thank you!
And I can not wait to hear from you what you’re going to do the upcoming weeks to create some fun feminism in your life.
If you want to work on creating your profitable business. Next week on Thursday the doors open again for my Big Business Mastermind: a 3-month program where you and 9 other entrepreneurs work on their impact and financial goals.
I would love to welcome you and have a chat see if this works for you, you can find me on instagram or linkedin
Thanks for listening and see you next week!