Do I look like a feminist? Putting my moobs and furrowed brow aside, absolutely not.
Apart from the fact that describing your average feminist (if there is such a thing) is likely to get a fat bloke with a suspect limp like me into an awful lot of trouble, I do not think I would be allowed in that particular club.
And quite right too.
It has long been said that you don’t have to be a woman to be a fully paid up member of the feminist cause, but it helps. So take a bow Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband, the deputy prime minister and who in their obscene haste to appeal to Worcester Woman (or whatever she may be called this time around) ahead of next year’s General Election, appear to have scored an own goal. They, now famously, slipped into T-shirts bearing the slogan ‘This Is What Feminist Looks Like’, got all pompous when the PM David Cameron declined to do so and got caught out when it was alleged the garments were made by Mauritian workers (most of whom were women) earning 62p an hour.
But even before the sweatshop revelations came to light this hapless duo should have been lambasted for this very cheap and cynical PR stunt.
Clearly there is no one true face of feminism but having come into close contact with those who are fully committed to the cause it has always struck me that whatever the debate or the argument they will almost always contest any situation would be improved if a woman’s lot was improved. It isn’t possible for any man to think like that although that doesn’t mean all men are chauvinists. It is beyond question the majority of men are programmed differently to their fathers and grandfathers when it comes to treating women as equals.
As a father of a football supporting, pirate loving, pink hating five-year-old daughter I am certainly now more alive to the issues women face today than I was before she came along. I do think society would benefit from more women in our boardrooms and in politics.
Like all 21st Century men I recognise the huge strides made in the past 25 years and shudder at the treatment our mothers and grandmothers had to put up with. But I would argue along with most of my peers that while there is still work to be done, the most significant obstacles have been cleared.
And that sums up why I nor any man for that fact can ever be regarded as feminists.