‘Not all forms of equality have been great for women’

Real women still love romance and family time, says Jane Reynolds. Photo: Lewis Whyld/PA Wire.

Real women still love romance and family time, says Jane Reynolds. Photo: Lewis Whyld/PA Wire. - Credit: PA

It's times like Valentine's Day that can remind us females of the joy and difference in being a woman.

It seems there really is nothing a woman loves more on Valentine's Day than receiving a heart-shaped card with gushy words inside and a big bunch of red roses.

Romantic gestures can be few and far between nowadays – but in reality it seems they can still actually mean so much, after all, it's a way a partner can validate their love for you, isn't it?

It makes you wonder in this day and age of equality and feminism why women still need this?

Why do women still wait to be asked on a date, wait for their partner to propose to them and buy an engagement ring and, moreover, still take their name when they are married?

It just goes to prove that even though us women are now more accepted as an equal to men, clearly women still have their differences that they want to keep.

Maybe it's time we took stock and realised we have forgotten what makes a woman.

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We need to wake up and realise we may have sold out to equality, become more masculine and have lost some of our femininity along the way.

An example of equality that isn't so great is, recently, women in England have lost their right to state retirement pension at 60, as future generations will have to work upwards until 68 – upsetting many who had planned to retire at 60.

Surely by working until 68, women will be too old to actually enjoy retirement – and besides, when will women have time to be a grandmother?

Is keeping up with men really such a great progression if it means losing the right to retire at 60?

After all, women are genuinely unique - they are the child-bearers of our society: a role that involves more than just incubating a baby.

But have we thrown the baby out with the bathwater and let society forget and devalue what women do differently?

Women in today's society are expected to work during pregnancy, nearly up until they give birth, with added stress and hormones flying all over the place.

Working this late leaves very little time to rest, nest, prepare and enjoy this truly unique experience only a woman will have, nurturing their baby (AKA society's next generation) inside her womb.

So are women in fact missing out nowadays on the best years of their children's lives?

Nowadays mothers return to work when their babies are still so young – entrusting care to relative strangers in nurseries, crèches and childminders with an NVQ whilst juggling motherhood with the day job.

Is it any wonder our society has problems as a mother's role should be full-time carer, teacher, protector, nurturer and role modeller of values to their baby – our next generation.

Maybe this needs to be acknowledged more and society should respect this by pressuring politicians to enable mothers to be provided with the choice and financial stability to enable them to look after their own babies for longer instead of missing out.

Women can celebrate equality by having more women politicians in parliament – but will they stick up for real women?

They should take heed and watch real women celebrating their feminine side with dresses, heels, hair, cupcakes and gossiping over a cup of tea from a Cath Kidston mug or cup and saucer – like a nanna.

And remember, real women still love family time, romance and to live happily ever after like a Disney princess.

•The views above are those of Jane Reynolds. Read more from the Evening News' 'In My View' section in association with Cinema City in the paper.