As some of you know already, my husband and I are in the middle of relocating from the Austin, Texas, area to the North Texas area. I will be starting a new job at the end of this month and we are trying to get our lives organized but my brain is just feeling scattered! Hence, the lack of blog posts the past two weeks. I apologize for this; going back on something I love so dear was not easy for me. I like to have a weekly post, but we have just been so deep in to this adjustment that I did not have the time or energy to commit to full posts. But, I’m here now! And I’m here to stay. Thank you for putting up with me. ❤
Today’s post is brought to you by a conversation I had with someone on my public instagram feed. Wednesday August 26, 2015, was a big day on social media. Yes, it was #nationaldogday. But did you know it was also Women’s Equality Day? August 26, 1920, was the day women were granted the right to vote in the United States. A big day in American history, I think. So it was on that Wednesday that I posted this quote by Beyonce on my blog supporting instagram feed:
(Ok, I had a hard time finding the original source to that photo, but on pinterest it links back to here, which is actually an interesting little article.)
I like the sentiment there, and I think what Beyonce says has a great point. I’ve always expected to get some conversations going through my blog or any of my various social media outlets for the blog; I’m always open and encourage these conversations. But I never thought that one would sit with me for as long as this one has.
**Before I jump in to this – please note. I am not bashing anyone. The conversation that took place on my instagram was one of mutual respect. I was never trying to put anyone down or attack anyone by any means.**
Anyway, I had this person comment on my instagram, saying something along the lines of “so we can’t teach girls to respect and we can’t teach boys to aim as high as possible?”
Honestly, it took me quite a while to even respond to this. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to say. A lot of emotions went through my brain and my heart. But this was an instagram for my BLOG! I eventually just felt like I had an obligation to say something back, so I did. And what followed was a back and forth combination of “is gender equality real?” and “does the wage gap really exist?” and, I quote, “it’s really their choice going into a job that doesn’t pay as well as a man’s job”. While I believe I handled the conversation quite tactfully (and please, feel free to head over to instagram and view it yourself and join in), it really got me thinking. It’s over a week later and I’m still thinking about it.
I’m here to ask you now: Do we really need feminists?
What exactly is a feminist? There is a lot of websites and articles that tote feminists as being “man-haters” and women who grow their armpit hair out and lesbians and people who don’t believe in “real” equality. Just check out this tumblr of Women Against Feminism as one small example of this.
While I could go back and forth and post stats about gender inequality, I won’t. That’s not the point here. To me, being a feminist is about respecting ALL people – men, women, children, transgender, intersex, etc etc. It’s unfortunate to me when we live in a world where something this simplistic gets twisted in to something that ends up pitting women against other women. I call myself a feminist, but I don’t grow out my armpit hair or hate my husband. I am a heterosexual female who highly respects men, values their opinions, and enjoys dressing up in high heels or wearing lipstick. But if someone else decides they’d rather wear jeans vs. a dress, or not shave their legs? Who am I to judge them? You do you, boo. It doesn’t effect my life.
Why do I call myself a feminist? Here are a few of my personal reasons I believe in feminism:
-Because women are highly underrepresented in American politics.
-Because women are expected to “stay in the kitchen” and stay at home and birth all the babies. YES, these options are perfectly acceptable. I enjoy cooking for my husband, and I don’t mind cleaning the house and doing his laundry. If I was a mother, I would want to stay at home with my children. But what’s wrong with being a mother and working? Why does society say I am supposed to do one thing, and then make me feel bad when I don’t do that thing? Feminism, to me, is all about choice. No one can tell you what decision is right for you, and you shouldn’t be shamed because you made a choice society doesn’t agree with.
-Because I have experienced workplace discrimination. Not in a job recently, but a few years ago. I was looked down upon because I look young and because I’m a girl. It’s condescending and hurtful to assume that I can’t do a job well because I am a specific gender.
-Because women are seen as sexual objects without brains or opinions, and because I have been a victim of cat-calls on the streets in several different places in different times in my life. I love the feeling of being confident in my looks and feeling sexy, but I’m sorry – who gave you permission to be the judge of that? And why does society say that is the most important part of me?
-Because when I did engage with this person on instagram, I was told to “just google it, OK?” and did not feel I was treated with the same respect I was trying to put forward to him. We should be able to have these conversations and be open to other’s experiences without disrespect and as equals. THAT is feminism.
What do you guys think? Please feel free to join the discussion!
Happy OM’ing and namaste. ❤