The "F" word has been on my mind a lot just lately. You know the one I mean?
No, not that "F" word - the other one!
I've never thought of myself as a feminist, and to be totally honest, I never really knew what it meant to be one!
I remember during the 70's ( I was very young then!!!) watching TV programmes and news reports and feminists were often portrayed as men hating, dungaree wearing, bra-less, slightly hairy extremists!!
During the 80's, feminists seemed to morph into power dressed women with big hair do's and even bigger shoulder pads!
Then came Girl Power in the 90's courtesy of The Spice Girls! Were they the feminists of the day? Who knows, but they certainly seemed like a bunch of young ladies who knew what they wanted.
So we entered the 21st century and the "feminist movement" seemed to have vanished as the stereotypical gender roles became less clear.
So was there a need for feminism anymore? It didn't appear like it!
But if you dug below the shiny surface you'd find that things weren't as rosy as they appeared.
The belief is that our modern day society is now more equal that its ever been.
Despite all the legislation that should protect women from being paid lower wages than men, there is still a huge gender pay gap. It is still incredibly hard for a women to attain positions of power and authority in business. They are under-represented in the media and government and are still expected to be the one that brings up the kids, despite being forced to work aswell.
I now realise what feminism stands for - and I guess I was one all along!
I have always believed that people should be treated the same regardless of their gender, sexuality, race or religion.
Feminists want an equal society. They believe that men and women are equal. It's really as simple as that!
The reason why feminism has been on my mind lately is "One Billion Rising" - the global event being organised by Eve Ensler's V-Day organisation.
One Billion Rising is a call for women around the world, and the men who love them, to rise up and demand an end to violence and rape.
Over recent weeks, I have read some shocking news reports and blogs about rapes, domestic violence, attacks on women and young girls.
I have also watched some video's of women who have come out and spoken of their ordeal; women who have used what happened to them in order to help other women and young girls to make a stand.
I have been shocked to the very core of my being. To read and listen to what these women have gone through is shocking and it saddens me to think that in many parts of the world a woman's life is worth so little that she can be repeatedly raped and then left to die.
Even in our so called civilised part of the world, if a woman is raped she'll be blamed for wearing a shirt skirt, or being drunk, or being out late at night! No woman asks to be raped, ever!
I have become angry, very angry. That's why on 14th Feb I shall rise with 1 billion women around the world. I will rise up and dance and I will say enough is enough.
This has to stop. NOW!
So yes, I am proud to say that I am a feminist!