Sometimes I do stuff which I'm frightened Germaine Greer will find out I like doing. But that doesn't mean I can't be a true feminist.
I am a feminist because to be one seems perfectly obvious and reasonable to me. I am a feminist because it bothers me that women are more than 50 per cent of the population and more than 60 per cent of university graduates, but somehow only 3 per cent of chief executives. I am a feminist because it bothers me that a woman gets killed by her male partner every single week, and somehow that doesn't qualify as a tools-down national crisis even though if a man got killed by a shark every week we'd probably arrange to have the ocean drained. I am a feminist because it bugs me that "working mum" is a phrase I hear every day, but I never hear "working dad".
Being a feminist is - technically, I guess - a full-time job, but let me tell you: the flexibility is incredible. I very rarely stop in at International Feminist HQ, for example. I never go to meetings. I've paid diddlysquat in membership fees. This is embarrassing, but I couldn't even tell you the name of feminism's current president.
And I manage to fit in a very full life around my feminist responsibilities: raising three lovely children with an actual man, working in a job I adore, and doing stuff that has nothing at all to do with feminism, such as finding new ways to put cheese in things, or being unable to stop laughing when someone mentions the phrase "open kimono" (to be honest, this has only been happening since Tuesday).
A photo featured on the 'Women against feminism' Tumblr page. Photo: Tumblr
Sometimes I do stuff which I'm frightened Germaine Greer will find out I like doing. Like wearing high heels, even though I totally get that they are a gendered attack on women and a pointless encumbrance designed to sap our speed and agility and maliciously get us stuck in gratings (in my mind, I reason that they are no stupider than the necktie). Or loving the clothing and kitchenalia of the 1950s, and not even in an ironic way; bakelite actually really does make my heart beat faster, and I find aprons both practical and beautiful.
I am reading a book right now that makes me punch the air with delight.
It's called Bad Feminist, by a funny, passionate, daggy American writer and Scrabble champ called Roxane Gay. She had me at "Scrabble champ" really, but I love her personal manifesto.
The Tumblr pictures that make Annabel Crabb sad. Photo: Tumblr
"I am a bad feminist because I never want to be placed on a Feminist Pedestal. People who are placed on pedestals are expected to pose, perfectly. Then they get knocked off because they f--- it up. I regularly f--- it up. Consider me already knocked off," she writes.
"I am just trying – trying to support what I believe in, trying to do some good in this world, trying to make some noise with my writing while also being myself: a woman who loves pink and likes to get freaky and sometimes dances her ass off to music she knows, she knows, is terrible for women and who sometimes plays dumb with repairmen because it's just easier to let them feel macho than it is to stand on the high moral ground."
One of the saddest things I've seen is the "Women Against Feminism" Tumblr where women – mostly young – pose with placards saying things like "I don't need feminism because I enjoy being feminine," and "I don't identify as a feminist because I don't want these women to be my voice".
Who are "these women"? I don't recognise these hideous creatures in my personal experience of feminism, which to me feels exactly like Roxane Gay: warm, funny, honest, fallible, clever, erring towards generosity to other women, and at some points hard-line because there are some things – like getting paid less for the same work - you should never accept, and no man would accept.
Feminism to me looks like my female friends, and the women I meet through my work and admire, including – incidentally - Julie Bishop, who copped a lot of flak last year for saying she didn't call herself a feminist. I was sad to hear that too, mainly because I don't think being a feminist is all that controversial. But in the end, to be honest, "Julie Bishop not calling herself a feminist" doesn't get anywhere near my Top Ten Things That Keep Me Up At Night. She was sworn in as the only female minister in a cabinet with 18 blokes and turned out to be better at it than any of them. That's what I call service to women, whatever she chooses to call it.
Feminism is messy and imperfect, and has people you love, as well as people you can't stand. It shares these features with humanity.
So: Happy International Women's Day, people. Celebrate it any way you damn please.
Annabel Crabb is an ABC writer and broadcaster and on Monday night at 9.30pm will host the first women-only panel of Q&A, including all three women mentioned above. She is thinking about wearing flats, but probably won't.