I was chatting with a friend about a great quote on feminism that I recently heard. When I asked my friend if she related to it, she shrank back in shock"A feminist? I'm not a (with horror) Feminist!"The talk show for Smart, Funny Women
I was totally thrown. I am always surprised when a woman seems proud of being treated as "lesser" in the name of being traditional; it seems so outdated and insecure, especially when this is a confident and smart woman who lives a very progressive lifestyle. What was I missing here?
So I started poking around the Internet and was blown away by the negative and frankly ignorant ideas that people have about what feminism really is. Here is the word as described by Webster's Dictionary:
fem·i·nism noun \ˈfe-mə-ˌni-zəm\
1 : the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes
2 : organized activity on behalf of women's rights and interests
Now that doesn't seem so bad, does it? Maybe I sound patronizing, but I find it unbelievable that women in this day and age can fall for the same kind of anti-female hype that we fell for after WWII, when we were booted out of the factories and told we were better women if we were home in the kitchen, buying appliances and doing everything we could to boost our husband's ego. And that is what it is, hype. By a scared society of men who feel threatened. The definition of feminism is pretty clear: being treated equally. No more, no less.
It doesn't mean feminists hate men, makeup, and staying at home to take care of a family. There is room to love and embrace all of these things and still be a feminist. It doesn't mean we can't be religious, have a happy marriage, or cook a mean lasagna. All it means is that we have equal choices as men. We can choose to work, stay home, raise kids, be girly, fix a car, get fat, love fashion, follow our dreams, play sports, have a big family, run for President, spend too much money on our hair, be childless, or secretly watch "America's Next Top Model." And to be treated with with respect. That's all it is, and the sooner we stop being afraid of the hype, the sooner we can all have the kind of life experience we think is best for ourselves.
I think the sooner we embrace "feminist" as a good word, we are on the road to something better. A society in which we all get to choose our own path, free of decisions being made for us.
Now, if you will excuse me, I have to go watch "America's Next Top Model."