This is what a feminist looks like

June 2, 2012
I don’t like bugs, getting dirty and sweaty or playing sports.
I’m definitely in touch with my inner girly-girl.
But I also marched for the Equal Rights Amendment in the early 1970s. Mentored young professional women. Had a long, full-time professional career.
Back in the day, this is what some people thought a feminist was like.
But the truth is that a feminist is something entirely different.
So is being a feminist inconsistent with being a girly-girl?
To answer that question, we have to know what feminism is actually about.
American women got the vote in 1920.
It’s about equality and it’s about power. Nothing else.
Do young women realize that we’ve had the vote for less than a century? 
That’s not a very long time.

 Not too long ago, most women were housewives. Or they were teachers. Or nurses. Or secretaries. That’s about it. Women professionals were rare.
Then, we’d had it. We wanted opportunity. We wanted choice.
We found our voice and activism. Things changed quite a bit. But not enough. 
We never could ratify the Equal Rights Amendment. We still have a ways to go.
One of our big challenges is that term feminist became charged, and not in a good way. 
Or in an accurate way.

This statement makes me crazy.
Even as they exercised the same power that feminists demanded, people like anti-feminist mouthpiece Phyllis Schlafly said stupid and untrue things like this:

ERA means abortion funding, 
means homosexual privileges, 
means whatever else.
Every country that has experimented with women in actual combat 
has abandoned the idea, and the notion that Israel uses women in combat 
is a feminist myth. 

And the first commandment of feminism is: 
I am woman; thou shalt not tolerate strange gods 
who assert that women have capabilities or often
choose roles that are different from men’s. 

(All lies. Not much has changed in the conservative world.)

Feminism is about choice, pure and simple. It’s not about what we wear. Whether we giggle, or are afraid of bugs or don’t want to get dirty. It’s NOT about what we choose do for a living. Or if we get married or have children. Or our sexual orientation.
So I’m going to say this:

I am a proud feminist, AND I:

would rather have someone else get rid of bugs in my house.
love grace, elegance and beauty.
don’t like getting dirty.
know that fashion is my passion.
can spend hours in Sephora.
love to play in my jewelry drawer.
will. never. play. sports.
enjoy wearing an apron and cooking a fabulous meal.

I am a girly-girl and proud of it, AND I also:

went to grad school and got a good education.
had an interesting career, moved up the management ranks and made great money.
enjoy wielding power.
dig debate.
love men.
and love women, too.

Being feminist? Not at all inconsistent with being a girly-girl. That’s what I think.

What do you think?

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