Updated: May 21
I think Feminism is evolving. Who can be a Feminist, and what a Feminist looks like, are very different nowadays. My husband is a Feminist. I am, of course, a Feminist. I want to raise my son and daughter to be Feminists. The definition? That a woman is equal to a man. However, a woman is different to a man. I think this last part is important. Do we need to act like men to be equal? Wasn't that the fledgling start of feminism. We can wear boxy suits and shoulder pads, and climb the corporate ladder? Wasn't that some of the initial stages of feminism? We can drink any man under the table maybe? We shouldn't wear high heels, make-up, or show off our bodies in over sexualised clothes? It was a strong start. And so necessary in breaking away from the completely sexist society that women were sexualised objects, baby-making things that should stay at home. Wear pink and be quiet. Put on some makeup and look pretty. All of that nonsense.
There has been an evolution though. Do we have to renounce our womanliness in order to be equal? Can't I love pink and be a feminist? But I like makeup! It's girly and I love it! What about what 'I' want. I see women of the newer generations, able to keep their femininity and their equality. We saw a marvellous march against the sexist Donald Trump that was organised by a whole lot of Feminists, and they rocked beautiful Pink clothes and hats. Reclaiming the essential Feminity and showing it as power.
Women are powerful. Innately. We are complex, different from men, and come in all shapes and sizes. Some women are girly, some women are not. Some women want to have babies. Some do not. I could go on. You get the point. No woman is more or less feminine because of whichever way she chooses to show up in the world. Makeup, push-up bra, high-heels, bare face, no bra, masculine style clothes, who cares. A woman should not be judged or ridiculed for being girly, or for not being girly. A woman is so much more than this.
Is it really Feminism if you judge a person because a child is in head to toe pink and ribbons? Is it really Feminism if you judge a person for going out to work while being a mother? Who gets to judge? Feminism is about quality. Full stop. Not about shaming women into being manly, or not being manly. Its not about them! As a Therapist I believe we all have masculine and feminine parts in each of us. Men and women. I wonder can you allow your feminine part to express itself in whatever way feels right for you? Can you let your masculine side express itself in whatever way feels right for it. Why not change that car tyre while wearing an a amazing pink tutu! Surely that sounds like freedom!
In all seriousness, let Feminism be about Equality for women, and not dictating what a Feminist is supposed to look like.
I know that LGBTQ folks have similar issues. Gay people not looking gay enough for the fellow gay community, or too gay for the straight community. What about men? Masculine enough for the lads or too feminine? It's a common problem we can all relate to, even if we are not women.
Let's be kind to one another, and live and let live!