Feminism; to my daughters
It’s been on our lips since the fiasco last November that I don’t want to refer to by name anymore. Splotch. Blight. Dumpster fire. That covers it. Big Daddy and I have spent a lot of time in conversation about what it means to be a woman in American now (and what it meant twenty years ago and what we hope it will mean twenty years from now).
Feminists get a bad name.
They portray us in pink cat hats.
They say we hate men.
They say we are rabid, ball buster lesbians. Like lesbian is an insult.
Lesbian is not an insult, by the way, and that is something we reinforce in our home. Being called gay is not an insult. Being called a lesbian isn’t an insult.
One thing, though, that I have realized is that because we live in a feminist home where Big Daddy and I live as equals despite maintaining pretty traditional gender roles, that I haven’t talked to my daughters about how important it is for them to be feminists and what that means.
So, here it is my girls. In a nutshell.
Being a feminist means you stay home with your babies because you want to.
Being a feminist means you go to work after you have babies because you want to.
Being a feminist means you don’t have any babies at all because you don’t owe anyone children.
Being a feminist means your worth is not tied to the output of your uterus. You are valuable for more than your ability to create and gestate life.
Being a feminist means you are not less valuable than your counterpart that works or who has stayed child free by her own choices.
Being a feminist means you accept and support whatever choices your friends make for themselves, as long as they’re healthy choices and don’t harm other people (not having babies good. murder people bad)
Being a feminist means you don’t have to get married.
Being a feminist means you get married in the biggest, puffiest princess dress you can buy.
Being a feminist means you do not turn a blind eye to your sisters, both those you shared you home with, those you chose to be your best friends and those who are women like you. It means you use your power, whatever of you have, to help your sisters who have it worse off than you. It means you don’t forget your sisters of color or your poor sisters or your suffering sisters. Being a feminist means you support all women and girls no matter their color, religion, background, nationality or socioeconomic level. Feminism cannot begin and end with white women. It must go further.
Being a feminist means you like STEAM.
Being a feminist means you hate math.
Being a feminist means that you make things for yourself with power tools and you change your own tires and pump your own gas and till your own garden.
Being a feminist means that you pay someone to cook dinner and clean the house.
Feminism is everything you are or dream you can be and it’s everything your sisters, all of them, literal and figurative, dream they can be, too.