Believe it or not, at one time this mellow mama may have been considered an almost militant feminist. A lot of you may not even remember Ms. Magazine, but I was a subscriber when it advocated equal rights for all women, and not just lesbians. I read it before it became mostly ads, like most magazines.
If someone said or did something blatantly sexist, I would tell them off. Women that would actually choose to stay home and be happy taking care of their families seemed pathetic to me. Hey, I didn’t even wear a bra. (Of course, I really didn’t need to).
As I got older, I’ve gotten wiser in some ways. If someone is offensively sexist, I just avoid them. You really can’t change someone like that, and I really don’t care to try anymore. They probably don’t have the gray matter to comprehend that no one is intrinsically better than someone else based merely on their race, gender, etc. I still cringe at those wedding ceremonies where the poor clueless bride promises to “obey” and “submit” to her man, but then I transport my mind to a tropical island while thanking my lucky stars that I know enough to realize that no one has the right or power to control or dominate my life, and the only thing I plan to obey is my conscience. I’ve also learned firsthand that it is a pleasure being able to take care of one’s family. Well, sometimes it’s a pain in the ass. But it’s definitely not pathetic at all.
While the United States, in theory, advocates equal rights for all, we know this is not exactly the way things are in actuality. Women still earn about a quarter less an hour for the same job. A woman has run for the highest office in the land, but still lost out to a less qualified man. But fighting for our rights doesn’t mean giving up the perks. Actually, we will do better fighting this war as women, not as wanna-be men.
Earlier feminists thought the way to win respect in a man’s world was to give up their femininity. They tried to act and dress more like men. They were throwing away their best assets. They tried to do it all, and wore themselves out. Even though they still earned less than the men, they insisted on paying their own way.
I, instead, choose to accept the good with the bad. I appreciate when my husband opens the door for me or holds my coat. He knows I can do this myself. It’s just a nice gesture of appreciation. If I was single, I wouldn’t fight my date if he wanted to pay the check. And if we women choose to work outside the home part-time or not at all, there is less negative stigma attached to this than there is for the men in our lives.
Sometimes Big Daddy suggests that I go back to work full-time so that maybe he can stay home. Yeah, right. Now that staying home is actually fun and I can do the things I want to do, instead of changing poopy diapers and arranging carpools, I’m going to give that up? I’d really like to help him out. But I’m going to keep enjoying one of the perks we women have and continue to work my part-time job.