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Tuesday, July 31, 2007

I AM A FEMINIST

I obsess about my weight. I love when a male companion opens up a car door for me and almost never insist on splitting the check with a date. I believe that Husband can be absolved of a multitude of sins if he brings me flowers and I would sit in the dark for weeks if my building super did not change the ceiling light bulb. Romance novels make me cry. I am a feminist.

Peg recently posted a contest in which the rules were to write a blog post about what you would like to teach the next generation about feminism. My answer is the same as the advice my dad once gave me when I dressed in a ridiculous outfit to impress some friends: Be true to yourself.

I coo over babies and puppies. I still harbor the dream of owning my own pony. I also love sports and have strong opinions on the state of the NY Giants offensive line for next season. I have no idea how much money we have in the bank or if Husband invests in stocks, but I love my job as an attorney and as I write this, Husband is doing the housework.

Feminist. That word somehow developed as derogatory or insulting. I was raised by parents who refused to cater to gender stereotypes and never told me I could not do something just because I happened to be born female, but at the same time, when I proclaimed myself to be a feminist in high school, my mother looked puzzled. “Are you going to stop wearing bras and shaving your legs?” she asked.

And then in college, to prove I was a feminist, I refused to wear anything pink, announced I would never get married (and if I did, I most certainly would not be changing my name), and stopped wearing make-up.

I became invested in politics and worked for EMILY’s List, convinced the path to equality involved getting more pro-choice women elected to office. I remembered that I look really good in pink. I went to law school and was singled out in my trial advocacy class for my litigation skills. I wore make-up during the final presentation. I joined Haven Coalition and got married. I changed my last name immediately.

Husband and I would like to have children. And I want our children to grow up making their own decisions and not being held back because of their gender. If my son wants to be a ballerina and my daughter a construction worker, that is fine by me. And if my son only plays with GI Joe and my daughter loves Barbie, that’s okay too. As long as they are doing something because it is what they truly want and not want society tells them to want. And then, no matter the connotations, they will be feminists.

8 comments:

Suzanne said...

You hit the nail right on the head. Thanks.

MamaCat said...

I loved reading your article--found it from Peg's contest. I appreciate your point of view about being true to oneself! :)

Jennifer

mara clarke said...

Yay Sara! I loved this. I may use it as an example if anyone ever asks me what feminism means to me.

Peg said...

Wonderful!! Thank you so much for participating, Sara! :D

As long as they are doing something because it is what they truly want and not want society tells them to want. Yes, yes, YES!!

Sorry about the deadline change, BTW...initially, the participation in the contest was pretty low, so I wanted to try to get a few more writers in the mix. Yours was actually the first posted!

Missy said...

Love, love, LOVE this!!! I am a first time reader- I followed a link from CUSS.

I too am a feminist. I also changed my last name, and wear high heels every day, and pinch at my belly fat. Its okay that I sometimes use the power of clevage to avoid cover charges and get free drinks.

Because at other times, I stand in front of my state capitol building holding a sign, taking advantage of my constitutional right to assemble, asking my legislators to vote pro-choice. I write letters to the FDA asking them to allow the morning after pill to be sold over the counter. When at an event when the emcee says "you throw like a girl" to belittle a man, I shout back, "whats wrong with throwing like a girl?!"

Our grandmothers and mothers revolutionized the world we live in. They did it so that I have the CHOICE on whether or not I want to be a supermodel, or a stripper, or the CEO of my own company, or the next President of the USA. I get to choose who I want to be, and that is what feminism is really all about.

Miss Welby said...

ciao, nice liberal blog, visit mine :)

Peg said...

Hi again Sara!

You are a winner in the competition!

Come by for details on claiming your prize.

Thanks again for entering!

Anonymous said...

I'm all about equal rights, and equal opportunities for all men and women. In fact, equality for ALL PEOPLE, regardless of sex, color, religion, sexual orientation -- whatever. What I'm NOT ok with is the ongoing assault ('degenderfication' as I like to call it) that's been slowly, but surely changing the way people speak of, and think of, the opposite sex in today's society. An assualt that's mainly being spear-headed by many womens-rights advocates/"feminists" who seem to find this agenda worth their efforts, when they should be focusing it on the more important issues like the "glass ceiling", a woman's "right to choose", and/or pushing their way into those private clubs and/or schools that for hundreds of years have held a "Men Only" policy.

Men are different from Women...it's a FACT -- and personally I think that's a good thing. Not something to which anyone should take offense, but something that should be celebrated, enjoyed....and respected.

When "Missy" made this comment: "When at an event when the emcee says "you throw like a girl" to belittle a man, I shout back, "whats wrong with throwing like a girl?!""

My answer: NOTHING. But at least you are acknowledging there IS a difference, so maybe there's hope for you yet, and those like you....