This is a question I’ve been asking myself a lot the last few days. It all started the other day on Facebook. A friend posted the comic below:
I have to say that this type of description is why I cringe at the word feminist. I cringe, because I think of the kinds of women who look down on me for the life choice I might make. It’s the look of judgement that comes from your peers as you say things like your dream job is to be a stay at home mom. It’s the look of oh the horror! It’s the moment that people, especially other women start to judge you. “What about your independence?” They ask. They envision you having to ask before spending every dime and not being knowledgeable about current events. This is the kind of behavior that made me hate the word feminist and also not feel like I was one.
What is feminism?
Feminism is a collection of movements and ideologies aimed at defining, establishing, and defending equal political, economic, cultural, and social rights for women. This includes seeking to establish equal opportunities for women in education and employment. A feminist advocates or supports the rights and equality of women.
That’s the definition according to Wikipedia. When I talk about the tenants mentioned up there, you’ll notice that I don’t sound quite so far off base. I believe that women should be able to make equal pay for equal work. I believe that women should be able to run for political office even on the highest levels. I believe that women should have the right to vote and have a say in other political decisions. I believe that women should be allowed to gain as much access to a great education as their male counterparts. What part of me isn’t feminist?
The part of me that isn’t feminist seems to be non-existent yet I don’t and wouldn’t identify myself as one. Why is that?
Simply put I cannot align myself with a group of people who seem to be judging my future decisions in a narrow scope. Women shouldn’t judge other women based on their decisions. We should be happy that women are allowed to make decisions that best suit their situation. We should celebrate that none of us are the same. We shouldn’t be pigeon holing each other into what any individual or group thinks is right. We shouldn’t judge each other more harshly based on a decision to not be in the workforce if that decision isn’t detrimental to the life of that individual or vis versa. Each side of the coin has pros and cons. We have complaints. We feel the grass is greener on the other side. All of that is human nature.
Let’s take time this weekend as we celebrate Easter to think about how we react to other women in our life. Are we supportive? Do we celebrate their success? Have we helped each other? I think these are truly questions that we need to be asking ourselves and we really need to rectify things if the answer is no.