Caring

The gender inequality in parenting is blatantly obvious. To be honest, how shocked I’ve been to discover it, only on becoming a parent myself, has caused me to have a good hard look at myself. How have I been so blind? Where has my head been at!

It’s also taken me down another avenue of questioning. Why aren’t more women speaking out and fighting about this? Why are more men and women not pushing for equality? It’s 2021. The push for gender equality is active and visible in every other arena. So why are we letting the inequality pervading parenting continue as it is?

The answer is definitely very complex. One aspect may be that while being really hard, parenting is also really great. Seeing a new little human coming into the world, arriving with their entire personhood, whole and intact, and housed in this little infant body, is incredible. Seeing them grow and learn and feel out the world around them is amazing. It teaches us in a whole new way about what it is to be human. And it brings to life the importance, for each of us, to look after each other.

Parenting is really hard. Parenting in isolation can be horrendously hard. But when the conditions are right, for some people, it can be a wonderful motivator. What more of a reminder that life is short can you ask for, then seeing your little ones change and grow before your very eyes. What more reason to become the person you want to be, then to do it for them, to be their role model. Then there’s the value of your time, which becomes so much more meaningful when you have so little of it to yourself. So, what are you going to do with it?

I’ve started to notice examples everywhere of amazing women, who shortly after having their child or children, do something epic. Like single handedly set up a new business, build it from the ground, and make it a success. Like dedicating their time to campaign for justice for a cause, and making a difference. Or solving a problem, creating a community or providing a service, to help others around them. The common theme? They’re generally fuelled by goodness, by the want to help people, to protect our earth’s resources, to make things better. That’s the power of what parenting can do. The work of caring for another teaches and constantly reminds you of the importance to care.

That is not to say that you have to be a parent to know how to care. There are lots and lots of people who are not parents and who do care. Amazing individuals who are motivated and driven to do incredible work in the world, and to make their slice of it better. Not at all, but it is the division that is harmful.

Parenting is largely seen as being part of the world of women. That world, despite being populated by half of all people, is pushed to the margins of society. While so many people are parents, incredibly, parenting is pushed to the margins right along with it.

We are now seeing more and more women taking positions of influence – in politics, in business, in the arts – hurray! Often with their ascension comes the expectation that they will do some good for women. With parenting generally considered a part of that world of women, they are often expected to do some good for parents and children. When a female politician moves up the ranks, we expect her to represent the concerns of parenting, childcare, maybe even education. To be fair that is often the thing that has motivated her to get to her position.

Historically these positions have all been held by men, many of whom are also parents. These men, though, have not been expected to bring the concerns of parenting to work with them. They’ve probably felt it unwelcome. The world of work and politics has been supposed to be separate from all that. Leave the wife at home to deal with the children, while we get together here to figure out the serious business of making money. Quite a separate thing altogether.

That’s the division that we are living with. Women are supposed to be primarily concerned with the home and the family, while men are supposed to be primarily concerned with providing for them. The more that dad is pushed to provide for the family, the less he may even know them. The less he may be connected to actually caring for them. The less he is thinking about caring as a fundamental necessity to the way we do business and run our countries.

Wouldn’t it be great to see all that goodness that I’m noticing around become part of the mainstream? Wouldn’t it be great to see women and men who care being the ones that drive us forwards.

But this all sounds like ancient history. Come on Liz, get real, it’s 2021, surely we’ve moved on from all that. Yes, it is 2021, and I live here in London, one of the biggest cities in the western world, in one of the most influential countries in the world. Can you even imagine a country like this being built on those sorts of foundations? Can you imagine what a leader of a country like this could look like, in a world where men are taught not to care in order to succeed – not to care about the people they lead, not even to care about whatever children they might happen to have fathered? What would that even look like?

A Lurker’s Paradise

You know yourself. Having two babies during a global pandemic, sure we’ve all been there.

Everybody is very kind to one another, considering each others’ experiences of this whole pandemic yoke. And rightly so. But when I am on the receiving end, “Oh it must have been tough for you – having the babies under those conditions” well, I can’t even pretend to have had it rough.

Don’t get me wrong. The circumstances have definitely been weird, and they’ve definitely made it really tough for others in similar situations. But for me, well, to be honest, those conditions have kind of suited me.

I’m an introvert (loud and proud) and having the pressures to socialise removed, during the intense and demanding period of caring for two young babies, has been a bit of a relief, to tell the truth. Gone was the pressure to go anywhere, the pressure to see anyone. No asks from anyone to visit the house were even made, which might have put me in a fluster. While I’ve missed seeing family, and more-so having family see my little girls as they’ve been changing every day, in truth it’s made things somewhat easier. For someone like me.

The other, fascinating, thing has been that all of the mixing that would normally have happened in person, over coffees, during baby and parent classes, has moved online. That means that for someone like me, introverted and also nosey, all of those conversations have become suddenly that much more accessible.

While I can imagine, had I been going along to different groups, that I might have hot tailed it back home rather than having to make after-class small talk, the chats have all been happening online. In a gargantuan effort to replace some of the much desired socialising and support that would normally be provided through these groups, (for someone less like me, that is), some amazing people have worked hard to replace these support networks on facebook and whatsapp and youtube and all sorts.

For a little bug-eyed lurker like me, it’s a bit of a dream come true. Without having to make the actual effort of joining in on conversations, I can have an auld read through them when I catch a moment. Oh – lovely! But wait now, how did such an antisocial cynic like me even get into these spaces, you ask. Well, to trace it back, it would have begun with the NCT group that we went to.

For anyone not in the UK, and more-so London, the NCT is the antenatal course that any middle classed couple sign up to attend. To learn about childcare and the birthing process, yessssss… but also, because since you’ve moved to London you’ve only made friends with work colleagues and unless you can convince them to both move to your borough and have a baby at the same time as you, it’s the best chance you have of making friends at the same stage living close by. (All this in the hope, of course – vain as it turns out – that they don’t all realise that their place is too small and decide to move to Walthomstow.) Duly, we signed up.

This is London. One of the biggest cities in the Western World. Metropolitan, cultured, progressive, international. The group did not let us down. The women and men that we met were from all around the world. They had fascinating careers, they were experienced, they had wonderful perspectives and ideologies. Most were entering this unknown parenting journey with an aim to parent equally.

When the instructor advised us to set up a mums only whatsapp group, in addition to the everybody one, we accepted her advice. She was our guide, we could only trust in her recommendation – after all, that was what we were there to do. (Partially). The women in the group were the ones that were pregnant. We were the ones that would give birth. It seemed to make some sense that we might need a separate platform to talk. “You’ll need it”, she said.

A few weeks later, birth announcements started to pop through in the main whatsapp group. Gorgeous, wonderful and so exciting. Everyone was involved. The announcements often came from the dads – over the moon, awestruck & completely smitten. Those who didn’t yet have theirs, shared in awe and wonder at the arrival of a new little person. Those who had, offered little snippets of wisdom. As a collective, we welcomed the little ones into the world.

And then….. nothing. Total silence.

But just in the everybody group, that is. Meanwhile the mums group struck into gear. Questions and requests for advice came flooding through. Some were about feeding, yes including breastfeeding, but when we’d had the class on breastfeeding the men were told to be really involved in all that too. And others were about sleeping, clothing, bedding, rashes, noises, gestures. All. Sorts.

Of course I was exactly the same as everyone else. The chat had moved over here, and here was where I went when I needed advice or reassurance. This was where the conversation was happening. I didn’t challenge it. I didn’t change it. Somehow, this was the way that it just happened. What I want to know is what was happening with all the dads during all this. No, genuinely, I want to know. Have you seen them? Because I haven’t heard a peep!

I can’t believe they weren’t involved in any of that stuff too; the sleeping, the clothing for the weather, the noises and gurgles and burbles. But somehow, for some reason, under the influence of some external force, the women picked up the mantel to be the ones to reach out and talk about it.

Let me confide in you that I have never been a “phone person”. I’ve never liked talking on the phone at all, and even texting doesn’t happen all that much. Luckily for me I have a group of friends from school who are somewhat similar. On occasion I have had moments of panic, thinking that I’m letting my friends down, that I’m not keeping in touch enough. Only to be reassured. They are just the same. We are simply not frequent communicators.

In fact, I used to say that we were quite “like boys” this way. Growing up, it seemed to be a girl thing, to be talking on the phone a lot, constantly sharing, confiding, updating. It just wasn’t something I was ever drawn to. And luckily, like, really very lucky on this one, I found some friends who were similar. By the grand age of 36, becoming a parent for the first time, I had accepted my proclivities without too much remorse. So it is clear to me that this picking up of texting, asking for advice and reassurance, was not coming from any innate femininity of mine. Nope. This was the following of a social order.

We’d been advised to set up a women’s only group, believing and accepting that we might need it to talk about things (embarrassing bodily things I guess?) that we wouldn’t want to discuss in front of the men. When it came to needing some advice, it was an easier space to turn to. It was a smaller group. Because of maternity leave for most, it was the group of people that would be bearing the majority of the caring responsibilities. Probably repeating the pattern of things that we were seeing outside of this group, talking amongst women seemed like the right thing to do.

From this group, I was introduced to more. Women kindly and generously added me to more groups. I went on and followed some breadcrumb trails of my own and added myself to others. I am interested, after all, in learning about what people do within this whole, mad, parenting thing. I want to get some insights. I want to do a good job. But on reflection, it is mums, mums, mummmmmmms.

Andrew hasn’t experienced the same pull. He is in some dad groups, yes, he is. Some of his friends have set up sub-groups, just for the dads among them, to have some special dad related chats. From what I gather they talk about tips on major purchases. Sometimes, at crisis point, they bring up a major problem. Overall, it is by no means the same sort of daily support that I find in these mums groups.

Seeing the continual questions, outside of your own, has an effect on you. When you see new topics and thoughts being raised, things that you mightn’t have thought of yourself, you take them on board too. Your own scope of concern broadens as you see these concerns being raised by your counterparts. I’ll say it again – I want to do a good job at this! So when I see something raised up, I think about it too. Aha, yes, maybe I should be thinking about what way baby’s teeth are going to grow based on the cup that they’re drinking from – why, of course I should!

At home, I can try to get Andrew as interested in all of this as I am now becoming. But I am just one person. I can’t equal the weight, regardless of my importance to him, of what he sees in the culture around him. I can try to tell him that lots of people care about the way a child’s teeth will grow and how it can be influenced, but if he’s not seeing anybody that cares about that in his world, then I really am just one voice. One voice that’s going against the current of what he’s seeing with his own eyes and ears.

And this, I might add, is coming from an environment of a good and healthy relationship. Honestly, when it comes to Andrew and I, I would assuredly say that we have a great relationshipwe have a great relationship most of the time….. we have a great relationship a good bit of the time……. I feel confident that our relationship will stand up once we get through the madness of co-parenting our very young children. I can only imagine what things would be like within a relationship where things weren’t so amicable.

Surely we need to expect men to be as involved from the beginning as women are. We need to expect them to be a part of the conversation. Because funnily enough, when we cut them out, they get cut out. And when we cut them out, women get cut off, onto their own strange world of daily caring concerns, that men just don’t get a part of. Maybe we could worry less about exposing stories of cracked nipples, or better yet find some dedicated space to talk about just those things, while bringing men right back in to the parenting conversation.

#takeithome

Burn the Monster

Isn’t the internet great? It’s amazing, a wonder, we live in a revolution of communication that defines this time in history. We can share information and ideas with each other from anywhere across the world in an instant. As a race, we now have so much information at our fingertips. With all this combined wisdom and experience, just think how quickly we can progress.

Before I became a parent, I didn’t read much about parenting on the internet. Since becoming a parent, I’ve turned to the internet for information, desperate for quick answers and insights, like never before. We waited a long time to become parents, but that doesn’t mean that we spent that time doing our research. No, better for our mental health to focus on things that we already had in our lives. And after all, how hard could it be?

It’s really hard. I know, what a major break through statement. It’s really a wonder that no parent has ever mentioned it before come to think of it, but parenting is really hard! In those early weeks and months, we found ourselves, like all parents, in charge of these little humans that we loved more than anything we could imagine and at the same time that were more vulnerable than anything we’ve ever had responsibility for in our lives. On top of that, it turned out they were complicated and we had no idea what we were supposed to be doing. Immensely important, fragile, complex and clueless – it can be a bit of a stressful combination.

So I have turned, often, to the internet for advice. And I found it. I found all of it. All of the advice, mostly earnest and well meaning, mostly eager to share valuable learnings, and each piece completely contradictory to the next.

We have access to wisdom and knowledge from around the world, but the trouble is that that can add up and create this pressure to do it all. To be everything. To be more than perfect, embodying every bit of good thing that is meant to be best for your child. It’s impossible. Yet it exists, this phantom monster of a perfect mum – because of course, all of this is on mum – that nobody is but everybody strives for. And it’s crippling.

As parents we care so much and want so badly to do the best for our children. So when somebody says that something is definitely the best and the right thing to do, it’s not so easy to dismiss it out of hand. Women, together in their all female cohorts because of their mutual maternity leaves, may meet and talk. When they do, and when one shares some brilliant thing that she has done, that she has achieved with her little one, it’s hard not to feel a pang of worry, when you haven’t been doing this thing yourself. You hadn’t seen that piece of advice. Dear lord, you’ve been neglecting your child for months! Damn it, how could you have allowed yourself that one relaxed cup of tea three weeks ago – that was probably when you should have been on it.

Or maybe you’re a bit more cynical. A bit more arrogant, critical, and well… a little bit more like me. You still don’t want to say to your friend that the thing that she’s been investing her time into is worthless. That she’s been fooling herself. She is caring for a tiny infant with all of the intensity that that involves – let her have her moment of pride. So you congratulate her, while simultaneously panicking over your own potential neglect, and sourcing a good news story to share of your own. You find one, let’s keep the chat positive, and you share your snippet. (So then it’s her turn to panic).

I’ve often thought how lucky I’ve been not to have been a teenager during this hyper-perfectionist time. In the 90s and 00s the pressure that we experienced, to look and behave in certain ways, came from tv and magazines. As someone who never bought those magazines, (already too cynical), that pressure was plenty enough. Teenagers now seem to have so much more skill and self awareness, they manage their appearance and behaviour like we sloppies never did.

There is a phenomenon of people getting plastic surgery to look more like the instagram filtered versions of themselves. This feels worlds away from my reality. The phenomenon of women cutting themselves up to be the instagram filtered version of the mum they think they have to be feels a lot closer to home.

It is common to come across rhetoric about how every baby is different. This is often offered as an antidote to the onslaught of advice that pervades. Things that worked for one baby don’t necessarily work for another. Having two very different babies at once has given me my own insights into this and while I am most certainly not here to give parenting advice, with absolutely no desire nor qualifications to do so, I like this train of thinking.

I just wonder, at what point does being an individual with your own nuances and differences stop mattering? Every baby is different, and different approaches will work for different babies. Is there a point at which that baby is supposed to stop having their nuances respected? Is there a point when they’re supposed to row in with the rest and adapt to a world where there is a singular way of being? Maybe it’s when they become a mum.

You don’t hear a lot about how every parent is different. Exceptions, like Philippa Perry’s “The Book You Wish Your Parents Had Read: (And Your Children Will Be Glad That You Did” stand out in glorious relief. She writes about, within parenting, recognising your own limitations. Aha! As a parent, you have limitations, and they need to be respected too. As parents we have to work, to do our best, with what we’ve got. A big part of what we’ve got is being the flawed and human people that we ourselves are. We should surely make the most of ourselves.

Trying to live up to the Monster Ideal Mum, that impossible phantom, can only be crippling. You might be capable of coming close, of taking on a hell of a lot, and trying to do it all. But how good can that be for a child if you’re making yourself uncomfortable? Surely the best thing for a child is seeing their wonderful, individual parent, being the best version of themselves that they can be. Or you might feel that the Monster Ideal Mum, that others seem to be capable of being, is so beyond you that you give up, decide that you can never even try to be a good parent at all. Sorry kid, what a shame.

There is no one type of woman. There is no one type of mum. There are no things that mum has to do instead of dad. It’s time for us to celebrate every type of parent for all their flawed, human individuality. If anyone wants to join me I’m off to start a joyful parade in which we’ll burn an effigy of Monster Ideal Mum down in flames for all to see. She’s impossible and the idea of her should no longer have a hold on parents in this world. See you there. #takeithome

We Can’t Leave it Up to the Lesbians

I was born on the 15th anniversary of the Stonewall riots. They happened 52 years ago today, on the 28th of June 1969, following the funeral of Judy Garland in New York City, and the LGBTQIA community experienced a watershed movement towards activism.

We have had 52 years over which pride celebrations have been evolving into the rainbow festivals of colour that we know them as today. It is in this same time that feminist communities and activists have also been speaking out and taking a stand. Many of those feminists have also been gay and part of the LGBTQIA world to boot.

In writing about gender equality in parenting I generally refer to cis-gender, heterosexual parents. I write, mostly, about mums and dads. I am very much aware of all of the parents and families that this leaves out. But I do it on purpose.

Most families across the world include parents made up of one woman and one man. As the majority, it is us who are then responsible for setting the standards. As the majority, we can choose to continue doing things the way they have always been done, regardless of how absurd that may be. Or we can choose to call bullshit and to make things change.

Actually, being a member of the majority is a type of privilege. And I would say that it is the duty of those that count themselves a part of the majority, of those that are privileged, to speak out and challenge the status quo.

Nobody should have to explain their sexuality or their gender in the context of being a parent. When we carry forward the notions that women have to do mum things, and men have to do dad things, we are making things less inclusive.

The more we challenge things, the more we subvert the norms, the more we can normalise dads doing things that they may not have historically done. We can make dads be more present in the parenting scene. And by doing this, we are laying the ground for any parent, regardless of their sexuality or their gender to be as involved in parenting as they want, no explanation needed.

There’s another reason that I write about mums and dads. And that is this: when it comes to achieving this equality, we are talking about a delicate and a tender negotiation that has to happen between loved ones. These are discussions that need to happen between men and women in their homes. When it comes to getting over this part of the feminist struggle, we straight women can’t leave it up to the lesbians to fight for us anymore.

We have to #takeithome.

I Took Maternity Leave But At Least There Was Lockdown

Our daughters are now nearly 15 months old. They were born right as the UK was going into lockdown for the first time. Some time in mid March 2020, I left the office thinking I’d be going back in the next day. Then the message came through that women who were pregnant should stay at home. And when the girls were born, I started my year of maternity leave.

I was expecting to have this time away from the office and from work. Having two newborn babies, I was expecting that it would be challenging to get out of the house at all for the first three months. Then suddenly everybody in the world had to stay at home too. Concerts were cancelled, restaurants were closed. I wasn’t going anywhere, and neither was anybody else. In the whole world.

Taking the babies home in the uber and seeing how London had changed since lockdown had begun was a memorable experience

I should mention at some point here that I am not the easiest person. Some might say that I’m pedantic, persnickety, fastidious. I would probably quibble over the accuracy of those descriptions. I am a bit particular, and for that reason among others, when we’ve talked about having children, we’ve often imagined that Andrew, my other half, would take on more of the parenting responsibility.

Not so when it came to parental leave. I would take maternity leave, because that’s what women do. Andrew took the time that he could to be with us in the first few weeks, particularly as I was likely to be recovering from a c-section. After that he would return to work and I would take leave to care for the babies for the first year of their lives. It wasn’t up for discussion. I could get a maternity package, he could not. It was a done deal.

Introducing the babies to friends over zoom

I wasn’t complaining. A year away from work, being so privileged to be able to take a year away, seemed a great once in a life time opportunity. I expected it would be challenging. Work means a lot to me, a lot of my self esteem is wrapped up in my professional productivity, so I planned a bit around that and had a bit of charity work lined up. I tried to prepare myself a bit for the abrupt change that was about to turn my life inside out.

I understood that it was important to take some time to bond with the babies. And if I wanted to breastfeed, which I did, it would be important to be off work to do that too, at least at the beginning. I was aware of the professional impact that maternity leave can have. Stepping out for a year in your mid thirties is not the best way to climb the corporate ladder. What I hadn’t understood was what happens in that time at home.

Let me say that I loved my time away, falling deeply in love with my two little girls, and learning more things, both practical and profound, than I can ever remember learning in any single year before. I was keenly aware that while others struggled to stay in their homes, I lived in a perfect terraced house with it’s own small yard. While others were lonely and at a loss for things to do, I had my two new favourite people with me all of the time and I was busier than ever. I have counted myself very fortunate indeed.

Two sleeping babies was always cause for a smile

It helped, of course, that Andrew was never far away. Once he wrapped up his few weeks off, he was back to work but working from home. So he was with me and the babies right up until 9 and immediately from 5:30. And during the day between he could join us, give me a break when I needed one. Some people talk about this as a silver lining of the lockdown but I think it is much, much more than that. Him being more present than he otherwise would has helped to shape the foundations of our family dynamics.

While he was in the house, I was still the one caring for the babies throughout the day every day. Through this invested time I got to know my girls. What I hadn’t understood before, though, was how I would also get to know how to run the house around their care. I wore a watch at all times, and would refer to the time constantly, referring to their last feed, sleep and nappy change. I would know when it was crucial for clean bottles to be ready for an upcoming feed. I would constantly be thinking about where the various bits of kit were, to be ready for when needed next. And I got to know the girls’ sounds and signals, to be ready to respond. (This description omits mention of the daily mistakes that were made – you may assume that there were many of those too).

Even though he was in the house, it wasn’t possible for Andrew to learn everything at the same pace that I did. Not to mention that things would change so often, so that once he did learn something it would soon become outdated. Even I would struggle to listen to my droning voice as I gave him frequent updates on the changing nuances of their care. Blended with the constant chatter aimed at the girls, he would have been superhuman to keep track of the regular reports.

As I went back to work three months ago, Andrew dropped his hours to a three day working week, to spend two days caring for his daughters. In the run up to that we had what can only be considered a handover. I told him he had to wear a watch. And we spent a lot of time talking about laundry. After the first couple of training in days, he was absolutely exhausted.

When women are by default the ones taking leave to care for their babies, the work that they end up gaining the responsibility for is the work of domestic duty and the running of the home as well as for the care of the children. There is no reason for this work to belong to women rather than men. But once it does, and once that becomes the dynamic in the home, it is incredibly hard to change.

If men and women had equal parental leave, then this wouldn’t happen. And if it wasn’t possible for both parents to take leave together, wouldn’t it at least be wonderful to have some options? To have some discussion about who would be best suited to do what in the family and to plan the time accordingly?

Andrew and his two girls

Now I find I’m thinking a lot about two things. One is if I was returning to work without Andrew changing his work week and taking on more caring responsibilities, how would I ever be able to shift the balance? Now, finally, I understand how difficult it is for many mothers to return to work and balance all of that responsibility that they carry at home. Even though there is no good reason that it’s them that are the ones to carry it.

The second thing is how much worse would it have been if Andrew had not been working from home over that time. If he had been leaving the house at 7am and returning at 7 in the evening, like I know many front line workers have been even throughout the pandemic. In other words, if he had been absent through the girls’ entire waking day. I find it unimaginable and yet this is the norm that thousands of women have experienced for decades.

Now offices are starting to reopen and people are planning to start going back in for at least part of the working week. Meanwhile babies will continue to be born. I’m a bit frightened.

#takeithome

Becoming a female parent

Of course I’ve always been aware that different expectations are placed on mums and dads. Of course I’ve known that traditionally mums and dads have played different roles in the family. I really shouldn’t have been surprised, when our two girls were born, that expectations coming from all corners were that I would be the primary carer. But I really was.

I’ve grown up in a time when girls have increasingly been told that they can do anything. Bit by bit over the last couple of decades we’ve seen the gender inequalities in our society falling away. This is often, as I’ve thought about it, relating to work. More and more women are taking on positions that have always been held by men. With no kids, for the last 15 years work has been a pretty substantial part of my life. I’ve been in a bubble.

I’m not under any illusion that in the world of work – in business, politics and the arts – that we’re there yet. But I have believed that we are on the way. Girls need to be educated differently than in the past, to be taught to have confidence and self-belief and I’ve heard that teachers and children’s authors are working on that. Boys need to be educated differently than in the past; I’ve heard that they’re working on that too. Unconscious bias in the workplace needs to be identified and addressed, and all around me I’ve seen businesses and workplaces taking action. So I thought that the right things were happening. And yes, although I really shouldn’t have been, I really have been shocked at how all expectations have been stacked, as a female parent, onto me.

Why aren’t we talking about this? The fight for gender equality is alive and well and yet gender equality in parenting doesn’t seem to feature in the conversation. Is it because parenting is a topic that is so deeply entrenched in the world of women? Is it because biology is so little understood that it is blown out to cover things that really are no more than cultural? Is it because parenting is so personal, and so sensitive, that where the negotiation for equality lies is in the privacy of our individual homes?

In this blog I will share my own ideas, opinions and observations, and I’m looking forward to hearing others’ ideas in return. One thing I’m certain of is, that when it comes to achieving the gender equality that we need, when it comes to feminism, it is time to #takeithome.