Happy for you
Through communicating with some of you, and in reading your posts, I’m guessing most of you on prose are younger than me. It is thought provoking reading your synopses on a variety of topics, feminism included. It seems for some of you, feminism sparks a negative connotation and or it is inconsequential. I guess that’s a good sign. It signals that we are no longer supressed in ways we once were and that we experince equal treatment under the law. That was not always the case.
My mother was born in a time when the the 19th amendment was fresh. Had it not been for the suffragettes who knows if and when women would have been walking into a voting booth. She was educated, but very little employment opportunity was open to her. She worked as a teacher but was pretty much expected to keep her mouth shut and take care of the home and her children.
As the subsequent generation to my mother, when I was in high school not much had changed. All of my female classmates and I were required to take home economics; none of us were offered a course in shop. Boys only. The only sports available to me and my fellow female classmates were gymnastics, cheer and twirling. Is twirling even still a thing? I did all three and never even considered what it would be like to play basketball, baseball, or football. Scholarships were very limited for girls. We didn’t even question why that was so.
When Gloria Steinem and Bella Abzug came on the scene, I was mostly silent on the subject of feminism. They both thrilled me and at the same time I was cautiously turned off just a little bit. How was I supposed to disregard what I had been preprogrammed to believe about myself and all women growing up? We were less than, not equal to our male counterparts. After all, which sex is physically larger and stronger? Who had fought our wars? Makes sense, right? But why wasn’t I thinking who gives birth? Who breast feeds and is the primary care taker of future generations? How is that not a strength? Change for women would come slowly, but the negative stereotype of the feminist emerged quickly.
Whether my beliefs were subconscious or not, I was not ready to slap on a button and march with the feminists, but it also comforted me to know they were there, especially since the topic of sexual assault and misogony became a part of the discussion. Twice as a young woman I was sexually assaulted. Once as an employee and once as a patient. Both times I kept silently enraged believing no one would believe me if I reported the male offenders. Hallelujah that I can now write this admission knowing this criminal activity would be met with prosecution.
Things sometimes get ugly when people declare themselves a feminist or as part of black lives matter, the anti defamation league, NAACP, planned parenthood, etc. Many take offense when people are loud and in your face. Understadably. Most likely anyone that is loud and in your face about their cause most probably has other issues going on and they are using their platform to vent their frustration. In acting radically they don’t necessarily represent the cause, but rather their own ego. It’s easy for some of us to feel offended thinking, what’s the big deal, stop your whining, go out in the world and take care of business. Shut up already!
The bottom line is there are legitimate reasons why these groups were formed in the first place. Because it doesn’t personally affect us, doesn’t mean the problem doesn’t exist. If we are secure in who we are and what we believe, why should we be offended by someone else’s passion for a cause? I totally get the juxtaposition posed when a group defines themself for inherent inequity and in doing so magnifies the separation from the mainstream rather than enhancing an inclusion, hence defeating their original goal. Ironic. To be offended by a feminist that is in your face and seems to hate men is one thing. To denounce the cause is another. By definition, feminism should not be considered as anti male. If men are seen as the enemy by a feminist, they might want to consider that men have also been caught up in preconditioning. Fighting for equality shouldn’t be realized by denouncing anyone.
Despite all the strides made since I was a young woman, apparently pay equity is still an issue. I’m thankful to the woman and men that are still fighting out there, knowing my granddaughter has got choices in her future that were slim to none for my mother and me. It’s also a joy to watch her play the sport of her desire and even be eligible for a scholarship!
Choices that are now avaiable to us were not even on my radar when I was a youngin. So I say today be who you are and embrace that choice! Love who you love, go after your dreams, personal and career wise. But let us not forget that there were women and even some men before us that fought for the luxury of these present day available choices. They deserve a touch of gratitude. BonnieBoo is happy for millennial you!