The Problem With Being An Independent Woman In The 21st Century Is…
October 12, 2013 § 2 Comments
…Quite simply put: it cannot be done. Or so I have recently (and regrettably) been forced to conclude. As I type this, sitting here in my boyfriend’s flat which not-so-long ago became my home, I cannot help but feel nostalgic. What I must accept (though admittedly I am struggling) is that my previous flat – with its two completely mismatched couches, heroin-addicted neighbours and claustrophobia-provoking bathroom – is no longer mine. Due to mainly financial reasons, I have been obliged to let it go.
Evidently, the truth of the matter is that it is not the junkie couple who lived below whose company I shall be sad to lose. (Nor will I miss my ground-floor neighbour who sat, day in day out, fully naked, with his curtains wide open.) It seems the real problem is then, that this flat had become a symbol of my independence. A statement, if you will, that I am an individual, liberated woman who can do as I damn well please!… Or not.
Due to women’s relentless struggle to attain their independence, we finally gained voting equality with men here in the UK in 1928. As a direct result of this, I (and all my female body parts) have the right to vote for my country’s potential independence in the 2014 Scottish Referendum. The blunt irony of having the right to decide the fate of my country, but not indeed my own, does not elude me. In our current society, where David Cameron is handing out mortgages to first time buyers as though they were going out of style, why is it not financially possible for a 23 year old woman with a full time job to rent a one bedroom flat for herself?
The question I’m really asking is this: Does my current situation in fact reflect the harsh reality of the supposedly ‘liberated’ female of the 21st century? We successfully freed ourselves from the chokehold of the kitchen, but are we still financially reliant upon men to get by in our day to day lives? Of course, there are an abundance of differences between today’s female and the 1950s housewife. We work, we save, we vote and, most importantly of all, we are recognised as a significant and valuable member of society! In our house, my boyfriend even does all the cooking! Which is lucky as, given the choice, I’d live on a diet of Heinz Lentil Soup and Uncle Ben’s Express Rice until I starved to death.
I’ll stop venting now. The one problem that I cannot let go of however, is the idea that the Women’s Liberation Movement and all the others who campaigned for our equal rights in the 1960’s had bigger dreams for us females of the future. Have we let them down? Or am I just bitter about the loss of my flat?