Monday, April 07, 2008

the feminist mystique

Growing up I was never told I couldn't do something because I was a girl.

There were no sex based double standards that I could detect in my home. My brother wasn't allowed to date at the age of 13 and lauded for sexual prowess and neither was I.

My father worked hard to make ends meet for our family.

My mother worked hard to make ends meet for our family.

That's how it went.

As a child I don't think I grasped the importance of what I was being given. I don't think I had any way of knowing that I was being raised to value the role of women in society every bit as much as I valued the role of men. I had no idea what an amazing job my parents were doing to ensure that I grew up believing in my own equality.

I was raised to be comfortable in my own skin. To believe that people are beautiful for who they are not for being a 90 pound super model or a muscle laden playboy.

To know that I could do anything that I chose to do...

Despite this, or maybe because of it, feminism is not something I gave a lot of thought to until my daughter was born.

Don't get me wrong I poured over women's liberation movement history with astonishment and awe... it's just that it's easy to sit on your laurels knowing that you're right and letting history and activists do the hard work trail blazing for everyone...

But now with K in this world I'm more aware. I want to be more involved and I'm proud to proclaim that I am a feminist. So is K. So is her father... and we'll work hard to pass on to her what my parents gave to me.

The certain knowledge that she can be herself and do anything she chooses.

***

Last week lilacspecs wrote an inspiring piece: Proudly Proclaiming, I am a Feminist. She encouraged people across the internet to join her and when I read what she and Holly and Missburrows had written on the topic I wanted to join in too.

Of course I missed the part where I was supposed to post on April 3rd (the day I actually read the posts) so I'm a bit late to the party but I'm posting it anyway because I figure there is always time for a good dose of reality.

***

Speaking of women... I'd like to take just one more moment of your time as I wish someone very special to our family a very happy birthday. Sadimac, you've been an important part of this family for the last 6 years. Happy Birthday. I love you.

10 comments:

Lilacspecs said...

Welcome to the party! I'd put you up on the Mr. Linky but I'm late for class. Go do it yourself though, I'm sure everyone would like to read your post too!

holly said...

nice one. you make the great point that it is wonderful to be in a state where we aren't on-a-daily-basis aware that there are limitations. thanks, trailblazers! you rock!

Bubblewench said...

Nice post!

Happy Bday Sadie Mac! Hugs to you!

mielikki said...

good post. I had put that day on my iCal with an alarm, of course! :)
My parents raised us the same way. Never were we told we could not do something because of our gender...
thank God for our parents!!!

Kimberly said...

Luuurve the new header. Not love - luuuurve.

I was brought up quite differently than you...it's been more of a struggle. Not sure my feelings are settled enough to express them, but I like having room to grow. It's good, you know?

sybil law said...

Women rock!
As do you.
Rock on.

Jo Beaufoix said...

I'm more like Kim, in that although I don't remember anything specific, my parents at times had different expectations for me and my sister than they did for my brothers.
But somehow I got it anyway. My kids are learning that they can do whatever they choose if they work at it. Luckily their daddy is very much with me on this, so I think we're giving them the right messages.

Cool post Camilicious

angel said...

my parents didn't ever limit us in terms of what boys can do and what girls can do either... as a mom to a boy i do hoe i have given him the same ideas- that there are no limitations except the ones we put on ourselves.
nice post cami.

missburrows said...

Feminists are never late. Tsk. Tsk.

You need to go to remedial feminist school. We are gonna build a bra out of twizzlers.

sadimac said...

Really couldn't ask for a better post on my birthday. (well, maybe something with ponies...)

Twizzler bras, that's something I can get behind.

Thank you, Cami.