Today is International Women's Day, and so I thought today was appropriate for me to discuss why I'm extra glad to be a woman and why I'm also extra glad to be a feminist. And perhaps to dispel some unfortunate stigmas about feminisms, or at least how I see it.
First of all, I am glad to be a woman. And especially a woman today. Here are a few reasons why:
1. Today, more than ever, women have more doors open to them. I have the option to raise a family and make a career and name for myself, all at the same time.
2. I really truly love the color pink.
3. I'll say it: babies. I want babies. I'm not super particular -- I want to make them, adopt them, love them, raise them, empower them. . .just not anytime in the next five years. Let's be a little financially secure first.
4. I loved playing with Barbies and dolls and aliens and dinosaurs and airplanes. I had the whole gamut of toys available to me. Having said that, the fiance and I have agreed that if our boys want Barbies, they'll get Barbies. Little boys need to prepare to be fathers just as much as women need to prepare to be mothers.
5. Being able to speak my mind. Take this blog, for example! But I had access to education that my foremothers certainly didn't, and I'm allowed to, say, speak in public without having tomatoes thrown at me. I really, really enjoy that.
I do love being a woman. These are only five reasons, but I could go on and on. But beyond that, I am a feminist. I believe in supporting women's rights. Having said that, I'd like to make clear that I am a third-waver. For those of you unfamiliar with feminisms' history in America, let me sum up. The first-wavers were people like Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucy Stone, and the lovely ladies who won the right for women to vote. So basically, founding mothers up to the 1920s or so. Then, the second-wavers were ushered in during the 1960s, with leaders such as Betty Friedan, author of The Feminine Mystique and founder of the National Organization for Women (NOW). These ladies were your typical bra-burning, outspoken protesters, and it's where a lot of people get this weird idea of feminism as something only bitter old shrews who are vastly unfulfilled are interested in. Sexless harpies who complain nonstop about how men are the enemy. Not only is this untrue and unrealistic, but it hampers the cause of feminism. Then, the modern feminists are third-wavers. We third-wavers don't see men as the enemy, but certain institutions. In many cases, men are just as oppressed as women. We embrace our sisters of all ethnicities and races, and a large part of the feminist cause is including the LGBTQQ community. We are all for protect and enhancing rights for all humans, not just women. Let's just say we often put extra focus on women's rights.
I feel that I am not a feminist because I have been pressured into it or because I have it so bad as a woman. I HAVE IT GREAT. I have a college education, a wonderful fiance, a job outside the home, and the option to be a mother AND a career woman. I am a feminist because I know that elsewhere, women don't have it so good. I am a feminist because I want to stand up for those women, and say to the powers that be, "This is not right". I am a feminist because men need help too. I am a feminist because I believe in basic human rights, equality, and justice. I am not out to get men. I am not out to trample on other people's rights just to get my own. But I am here to stand for what I believe in. And what I believe in is basic human decency. I believe in helping out others and doing what's right and taking a chance for what you believe in. I believe in you and I believe in me.
On a personal note, I want to say thank you to all my foremothers and the wonderful role models in my own family. They have shown me that the sky's the limit and I have just as much right to pursue my dreams as anyone else. They have allowed me to vote, speak in public, own property, control my own earnings, make something of myself in the workplace, have a career, have access to birth control, and still be a wife and mother. I appreciate each and every one of you for the sacrifices you have made and the efforts you have given to bettering the human condition.
And now, just for fun, here's my favorite humorous feminist song. ;)