What is Feminism?
Fighting for female equality, like most things, can be done in 1,000 different ways and none of these ways are the definitive “correct way”. Depending on one’s priorities, some ways are better than others, but all of the ways are an attempt to achieve the same basic outcome. If you believe that women (and men) should be able and encouraged to fulfill their highest potential, you are a feminist. One does not have to be female to be a feminist. If you think women’s voices are as important as men’s, and that both sexes deserve equal opportunity, you are a feminist.
That does not, however, mean that feminism requires subscribing to the full platform of the liberal, bra-burning stereotype we see in modern media. You can be a feminist in an apron. You can be a feminist in a welder’s uniform. You can be a feminist in a hijab. You can be a feminist in a business suit. Feminist come in all shapes, genders and sizes. They are from all over the world and they believe in one thing. Equality for all, regardless of sex.
Being a feminist doesn’t mean you hate men or think that all chivalry should hit the deck. On the contrary… You want to be treated like a lady but a lady who is capable of taking care of herself. You can pay your bills, make dinner, kick a football and take care of your kids all at once. It doesn’t necessarily have to come with a caviate of one or the other.
Some people think that women can’t have it all. That at some point we need to either sacrifice family or career in our lifetimes, but I don’t think that’s true. Like feminism, I believe that priorities have equality and tiers. At some point in my life I will focus on family and at other times I will focus on my career, and you know what??? That’s okay. I’m allowed to prioritize and show equal value on these things.
Like feminism, “balance” isn’t a dirty thought or a taboo word. My mother sacrificed a lot of herself for the family when I was growing up and now that I’m grown, I wish she had been a little more selfish. Moms and feminists should know it’s okay to ask for equal time, pay, and consideration.