Monday, December 16, 2013

Am I a feminist?

The H&M sweater I got for Fall 30x30.  I never posted this picture, but it was one of my favorites. Nothing to do with this post really, but I guess it does a little because I am technically wearing both a SKIRT (this sweater is a "dress") and PANTS. 

I've never identified with the feminist movement.  When I hear the word "feminist" I think of careers over children, wearing pants to church and not shaving your legs. 

If you're LDS you probably heard about the #ordainwomen movement started by Mormon feminists.  I'm not really going to talk about it, except to say I don't really share the same ideas as these women.  More power to them if they're doing what they feel is right, but I feel my life is full enough (full of responsibility, full of purpose, full of joy and full of love) with out the priesthood.

But I can't escape the feminist women in my twitter and blog feeds.  And I realized that maybe they weren't so different than I was.  Several of them are stay at home moms, some wear pants to church and some don't.  As far as I know, all of them shave their legs at some point (and if they don't . . . maybe I haven't in over a month either.  You never know.  I'm not telling)

So I did that ever classic move and looked up "feminism" in the dictionary.  The online dictionary, because does anyone really have a hard copy anymore?  How would you look up the word "twerking" in the hard copy dictionary?  But I digress. . . 

Feminism: the advocacy of women's rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men.

It doesn't say anything about choosing career over children, shaving your legs or wearing pants to church.

(Can we pause for a minute so that I can point out skirts actually make women cooler than men, at least when it comes to clothing?  I can wear pants OR skirts, but Adam. . . cannot.  So how's that for equality?)

And then I have friends tell me stories.  Husbands that refuse to help around the house because it's women's work (maybe they don't use those words, but it's definitely the tone there) Husbands that wont change diapers, let their kids sit in a poopy diaper for two hours until the wife has time to change it.  Husbands that wont take out the trash when the wife is pregnant because it's not his job.  I just didn't notice it before because I've honestly only ever been treated as an equal.

My dad may have been a little old fashioned when it came to handing out chores (yard work for the boys, cooking and cleaning for me) or extra curricular activities (sports for the boys, dance, sewing and singing for me) but that could also be because of my personal preferences (hello I'm a home ec teacher).  But when it came to intelligence and opinions, the fact that I'm a girl never even entered the discussions.

This is probably why I preferred to teach my classes in the auto hallway instead of the home ec department.  I've never been one to "know my place".  (I didn't really have a choice about where I taught.  Where ever there was space they would stick me.  But I didn't mind being in the auto hallway)

It seems like the word feminism can apply to such a wide variety of ideals that I hesitate to identify with it because others might over generalize what I believe.  So let me say in closing, I was a working woman, a working mom and now I'm a stay at home mom (I could and will write an entire post about that)  I clean, I cook and I birth children but I am not second to anyone.

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