The other day, I heard a story on the news about how fewer and fewer women are calling themselves feminists. As if feminism is another “f word” or something. The woman who was interviewed is a college professor, and she prompted discussions about feminism, and when she asked, “do you believe in women’s autonomy, do you think women should have access to jobs, should we get equal pay?” most students said yes. Then, she would follow-up with “do you consider yourself a feminist?” and people would get uncomfortable.
That baffles me, because I never thought that feminism was a bad thing, or anti-mother, or anti-man, or … whatever these young whippersnappers (I can call them that, I’m 30) are thinking feminism means.
Then I realized that maybe I have a different view of feminism than the news? So, I thought that this would be the perfect opportunity to stand upon my soapbox in my corner of the internet.
My definition of feminism
Feminism: the notion that little girls can grow up to be anything they want.
Little kids want to be everything. My friend has a five-year-old, who has wanted to be a firefighter, a garbage man, a bean counter, a basketball player, and a triangle at various times in his young life.
I have another friend who has a three-year-old, who wants to be a princess, a lawyer, a “boss” and a ballerina.
We are lucky enough to live in a country where both kids can live out their dreams. Though, some may be more challenging than others. I’m still hoping the five-year-old can figure out how to be a triangle.
But the point is, kids don’t know that they can’t be doctors or lawyers or veterinarians, or bosses. Their whole world is a wide-open space. And we live in the land of opportunity, so nothing should get in the way of their dreams! Let’s not tell the next generation that they can’t be rocket scientists because they are girls and math is hard for girls.
What do you think of when you think of feminists? Do you imagine Gloria Steinem types throwing bras on a bonfire? Do you think feminists hate men? Do feminists hate stay-at-home-moms? Are feminists just straight-up haters of everything?
I see problems here, folks. Women shouldn’t be afraid to label themselves feminists, and society shouldn’t demonize feminists!
And, I’m off my soapbox.