I am not sure when it began but I can tell you there is no other way I can be. Perhaps, it was around age 17. Its when I would become pregnant and inherit the chip on my shoulders that single moms incur because statistically, all of the odds are against us. Fast forward to present day, I have four daughters and that comes with a tremendous amount of responsibility. You see, in the era of the #MeToo Movement, quaalude cocktails and private hotel room casting calls, I have no choice but to be a Feminist in my own right. While I have not been particularly victimized like many women have been, I have witnessed the turmoil and elongated healing process that women and girls face, as a result of their vocal cords being ripped from their throats and sometimes their innocence dismantled. Too close for comfort.
As a mother raising young ladies, it is easy to feel intimidated by what people feel are just social norms, and growing pains: and by what I deem and situations that are off limits and downright non-negotiable. I am protective over my children, I am sure you have gathered that by now.
I grew up in a matriarchal family where women were the individuals that were auditorily gifted. LOL! Using my voice (literally) is not anything new for me. However, as a mother the rules have shifted. I am an advocate for my girls. I cringe when I know they are being overlooked and I am disgusted when I think about them enduring pain inflicted by others based solely on the ideals that they are females, expected to behave and respond in a certain way. Typically defeat.
I believe in Gender Roles, in my marriage! I know, insert gasps and hang your head. Not the kind you think.
What we deem as gender roles are just merely responsibilities we have put on one another (my husband and I ) to keep our ship sailing. Being a SAHM works for our family dynamics and I enjoy being home to raise our children. Although my mom was not a SAHM, I grew up seeing women work and seeing women being in the home. For me, gender roles are not assigned based on what societal norms are for men and women, they are simply ideals that my husband and I agree upon. There is always a man for the job the WoMAN or MAN. This is a democracy, not a dictatorship.
My love affair with being a girl/woman is truly innate. I am not a pushover and I make my own rules. As a mother to four girls, It's important for me that I lead by example. That I show them women can be at home with children and can run a business. That women can be home with the children and still obtain educational endeavors. That women can be home with the children and still make important decisions for the family. That women can ultimately be whatever they want to be and sit in the rooms where they deserve the seat, and if one is not available we come equipped with a folding chair in tow (Shirley Chisholm).
Being a feminist is not a plight to emasculate men or devalue the roles and responsibilities of men and the man in my life. Being a feminist for me is supporting the issues and serving as a protective layer of the embodiment of what being a woman entails. I am the keeper of the feminine experience. I understand the hardships that we face, the uphill battle we are continuously climbing and the unequivocal brilliance of women and our power. I believe that women are not the sum of our lady parts, we are so much more than our breasts, vaginas and curves. We are humans and deserve the right to protect women's rights because they too are human rights. I love my husband and I respect his role in my life and our marriage. He brings home the bacon and I fry it! I don't fry it because I am a woman but because it has to get done ...and I am the better cook! Ha!
Being a feminist is part of my motherhood experience and it is part of me. We are not limited and shouldn't be silenced. Are you in formation?