Opinion

OPINION: Teenagers need feminism too

Author T.J. Hamilton.
Author T.J. Hamilton.

WHEN Cate Akaveka - owner of Mary Ryan's Hervey Bay - heard that Sweden was giving a copy of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's 'We Should All Be Feminists' to every 16-year-old in the country, she wished our own country were as progressive as the Scandinavians.

Being that she owned a bookstore of her own, she realised she could extend the same offer to the youth of the Fraser Coast.

Any interested 16-year-old should see Cate, show their ID and they will receive their very own copy of the book, for free.

I highly recommend any parent of a teenager to encourage them to take up this opportunity, because the brilliant thing about the writing of Adichie is that feminism isn't shoved down your throat, like it's often believed with feminists.

In her incredible TED speech, Adichie talks about the very subtle imbalances that we have in society. It wasn't until I listened to her speech that I could identify with what it meant to be a feminist.

The common stereotype of a feminist is a man-hating, bra burning woman who prefers to let her body hair grow wild (not that there is anything wrong with that).

But I, just like Adichie, am a girly-girl. Anyone who knows me knows I like to get dressed up, do my hair and shave my legs.

But it's the way I'm treated because I am a woman that makes me identify myself as a feminist.

When we lived in Sydney, my husband's work allowed him the flexibility of staying home more often, whereas my job as a cop meant I was usually unable to attend events at my son's school.

So my husband was better known to our son's teachers and parents at the school.

To us it didn't seem too out of the ordinary and worked really well, but it was other people's reactions to our life that interested me, and is part of the subtle prejudices that we face, without even realising.

As women, we are expected to act certain ways. We are often expected to choose either raising children or a career, but still questioned if we want both.

Whereas men are just expected to work - which in itself is a gender imbalance.

The roles of men and women have changed.

I'm hard-pressed to find an occupation within our society that the opposite sex wouldn't be able to do competently, so our equality needs to be celebrated.

What Adichie's writing has done is open the conversation on gender and talk to our next generation about what defines us physically, but how we can balance one another.

I applaud Cate Akaveka for taking the initiative and offering this wonderful insight into how we can all be feminists.

Topics:  tj hamilton



Storms are coming! What it means for your long weekend

Yes, it's going to affect your long weekend

What happened to the roo that attacked the toddler?

Kangaroos in a paddock on Dougan St, Point Vernon.

Wildlife officers have given residents advice to avoid roo problems.

SNAKES SEASON: They're on the move on the Fraser Coast

Snake handler Roy McGrath.

A woman was bitten at a property on the Fraser Coast last week

Local Partners

Katy Perry gets naked to encourage people to vote

Katy Perry in Funny Or Die sketch

Katy Perry has stripped naked for a comedy video

Jogging Tom Hanks crashes wedding in Central Park

Tom Hanks stopped for a selfie with this bride and groom

MOVIE REVIEW: Storks delivers family fun

A scene from the movie Storks.

ANIMATION can be hit or miss but when it hits, it hits hard.

Nick 'the snake' to call the shots on Survivor jury

Australian Survivor contestant Nick Iadanza.

LATEST evictee is out of the game but will still have a say.

Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber split

Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber

Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber have split after 11 years together.

Why Chris Hemsworth was spotted wearing nail polish

RED CARPET: Do you think Chris Hemsworth is the typical unpolished but well-natured Aussie bloke?

He's now officially the best bloke in Australia

$40million hotel, shops development project for Mackay

Mt Pleasant hotel and retirement accommodation, proposed at 194-202 Malcomson St.

$40m development to take Mackay to 'the next level'

Huge Gunalda service station set to open by December

NEW STATION: The Gunalda Service Centre, owned by United Petroleum, will include a 350-seat eating area and a truckers lounge.

The massive servo is the biggest United development in Queensland.

Property leader says Fraser Coast market is looking up

Positivity is the buzz word in the Fraser Coast housing market

Property 200m from ocean selling for just over $100K

BEACHCOMBER PARK: Work has started on a new $19.2 million development at Toogoom.

The estate's developer is offering huge discounts for early buyers.

UPDATE: Former rodeo champ's sale rained out, now back on

Larkhill local Ken Consiglio is having an auction of most of the things on his property.

'People kept showing up and we had to turn them away'

First stages of $25 million housing development underway

New development on Madsen Rd - The Springs.

The blocks of land are much bigger than usual