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The Unintentional Anti-Feminist

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This semester I am taking a Women’s Studies class all about the history and overview of feminism in the US. Now while some things are entertaining to learn, for the most part I find myself sitting there thinking, “This seems a bit over the top.” Now please don’t get me wrong, treating women like an object and property is never okay under any circumstances, and abusing them in any way is absolutely unacceptable.

I think it’s great that women can now vote, own property, inherit from their parents, hold any job they want (although they still aren’t paid the same as men), and wear pants (if that’s the kind of thing you want to wear). I like knowing that I can do all these things.

But here’s the thing: I don’t really consider myself a feminist. I’m sure if true feminists were to look at my stances on things, they would say I set the feminist movement back fifty years. And honestly, they’re probably right.

Just how anti-feminist am I? Let’s take a look, shall we?

I hate wearing pants. Given the opportunity, I would wear a dress or a skirt every single day. I love feeling girly and feminine. Add a cute pair of heels (kitten heels, not stripper heals, let’s be classy here) and a headband and you have the perfect outfit. I hate the cold because I have to wear pants. Pants feel so restrictive and it is so hard finding pants that fit well.

I would totally wear any of these dresses, and not even for a special occasion, unless Tuesday counts as something special.

I would totally wear any of these dresses, and not even for a special occasion, unless Tuesday counts as something special.

I love to cook and bake. I make dinner every night for myself and one of my roommates, and I don’t mind doing it. It isn’t a burden. I bake sweets on a regular basis and give them to my friends. If I am upset or stressed, nothing calms me down more than cooking or baking something. I love it. I don’t mind making a boy a sandwich so long as he asks for it nicely. I don’t think it’s demeaning when my guy friends call me up to ask me to bake them banana bread or “show them how” to make meatballs. Cooking for others is one of my favorite things to do. There are not too many things that I am really good at, but I know I can cook. It’s one way I can show others that I care about them.

And for those wondering, yes, that is Pinkie Pie from My Little Pony. And yes, I do sing that song every time I make cupcakes.

My life’s ambition is to be a housewife/mom. Not kidding. Given the opportunity, I would be a soccer mom in a second. I want to stay home and take care of my kids. When they’re at school, I want to run errands and do laundry and clean the house and have dinner ready by the time my husband gets home from work. I want to have one of those calendars where each kid is color coded on there to show who has to be where at what time. I want to be one of THOSE moms. With graduation so quickly approaching, I keep getting asked what my plans are for the future. Somehow, “Stay at Home Mom” isn’t exactly the answer people are looking for, especially when I am currently single and have no prospects for a husband on the horizon.

Charlotte York. She understand me.

Charlotte York. She understands me. And those cupcakes look delicious. 

I love Disney Princesses and think they are actually pretty great role models. Before you all grab your pitchforks and yell, “KILL THE BEAST!” or some other word that starts with ‘B’ hear me out. Honestly, I could write a whole blog post about how great Disney Princesses are, but that is for another time. No, I don’t think they are passive women who just allow men to save them. They were dreamers. They had dreams far bigger than what their families or societies had for them. They took risks and even when things looked dim, they still believed in a happy ending. And what’s so bad about a happy ending? I don’t know of a single person who says, “Man, I hope things turn out badly for me in the end.”

My favorite Princess. Booyah.

My favorite Princess. Booyah.

Now please note that what I believe is strictly in view of my own self. If a woman wants to wear pants, more power to ya.  If she only uses her oven to store sweaters (I’m looking at you, Carrie Bradshaw), then go ahead. If she wants to have a high-powered job and work 60 hours a week at a super competitive job, by all means follow your dreams. I applaud the women before me who fought so hard for women to have the option to take advantage of all these choices. My  choice though is this.

It’s not as though I was told as a child that I had to be this girly girl. My mother is very driven and worked very hard to be where she is today. My grandparents told be from a very young age that I could be whatever I wanted to be. My mom signed me up for a full arrangement of park district classes, from ballet to soccer, from cooking classes to amateur aviation classes. Clearly the ballet and cooking lasted longer than soccer and flying (You got to wear tutus in ballet! And you got to eat everything you made in the cooking classes! I got muddy and bruised in soccer, and aviation wasn’t very fun when you weren’t actually allowed to fly the plane. Apparently you must have a pilot’s license to that). I just always gravitated towards the more girly things. And for the record, I did not choose to be an English major as a cover up for a MRS degree. I chose English because I like to read and write. And nothing else seemed like me.

I’m sure there are going to be people who read this and feel bad for me or become angry with me for thinking this way. I hope you don’t. Like I have said before, women should be whatever they want to be. Don’t let me stop you. Trust me, I live with two very driven young women who I am sure will go very far in their fields and I cannot wait to see where they will end up. I would never try to push my feelings about feminism on them, because they would never buy into it. And that’s totally fine. I love them for their drive and spirit.

This has totally happened to me before. Whatever. At least I'm not a thief like Eugene!

This has totally happened to me before. Whatever. At least I’m not a thief like Eugene!

I have no idea where I will be in ten years. Hopefully I will be married with a kid or two, or maybe I will be single working somewhere awesome (or not so awesome. I can be realistic sometimes). I don’t know. What I do know is that no matter what I do or where I am, I will always be girly. And I will always have these likes and desires. It’s what makes me who I am. And really, how weird would it be if I was a tomboy who couldn’t even make so much as a grilled cheese? That would just be weird. A lot of people would be missing out, myself included. No, I think I will stick to skirts and cupcakes.

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About blweathers

I want to write. About what, I'm not sure. We'll figure that out together.

5 responses »

  1. I am a feminist. I never wear jeans, and I love to bake. I think that the single stereotype that Disney princesses offer young girls is limiting – not the Disney princesses themselves. It’s getting better though with movies such as Brave and Tangled because it offers girls more than one stereotype, but one doesn’t exclude another. My ambition is to work and I study hard to achieve that. But I don’t look down on people who have ambitions that are different from mine.

    And that’s the great thing about feminism – you have a choice. Feminism isn’t about not being conventionally ‘feminine’, it is about understanding that femininity isn’t limited to a certain sets of attributes. We want to make all these attributes available to everyone despite gender. It doesn’t mean that everyone should be everything, but people should have the opportunity to make a choice. Your mum seems to have given you a lot of opportunities, and you were able to find your own interests which is great. We won’t judge someone for baking or not wearing jeans.

    It is rather patriarchy, or gender biased structures, that judge you. Work and interests that are ‘traditionally’ perceived as feminine are valued less in society – domestic work, nursing, fashion, baking etc. Feminism wants these to be more equal with ‘traditional’ masculine areas so men and women who choose these are recognised and valued too. We are the ones who won’t judge you based on your choices or interests 😉

    Reply
  2. I am a feminist and I think you’re right in asking questions about the movement. Its study is fluid yet there are still areas of criticism and a negative association with its brand. It is much easier to sit on the side-lines and enjoy your life. There’s a lot of work to be done out there. You’d experience peaking and troughing emotions as the world isn’t how we want it. Not to mention all the male rights activists you’d come across and male trolls who want to give women a hard time and upset you with threats of rape. I lost seven male friends in less than six months. There is a consequence with feminism. It’s not all rant and angry bra-burning. It’s progressive and I think you’d be better being solo and determining your field of interest rather than as a collective. There is still hierarchy within feminism and it sucks that we all don’t embrace each other. There are radicals who despise transvestites for example. I got attacked by two feminist intellectuals tonight as I raised some points for discussion. The organisation (equivalent to McDonald’s feminism) they’d set up (25,000 people) blocked me for asking questions that provoked them. Yet, I’ve met some of the most amazing women with strength at the core and a determination to better us economically and politically. I’d sit on the side-lines and observe if you’re interested. I did that for about six months. There have been many things I’ve come up against that drives me to the point of utter distraction. I lost my feminist will tonight and have thrown in the towel. As far as heading back in, I’m not sure. I had a better life being ignorant of feminism. I don’t know whether I’ve got the punch and drive anymore.

    Reply
  3. I also hate pants. I almost never wear them, not even during winter. Just so you know, pants aren’t always warmer than skirts. I have found that long, flowy skirts are actually quite warm, but maybe that’s just me. I also love cooking, but I can’t say I also want to be a stay at home mom. I respect your choices though! 😀

    Reply
  4. I read this article in NYM today and thought of your blog post. You might find some of this interesting: http://nymag.com/news/features/retro-wife-2013-3/

    Reply
  5. Pingback: Mothering versus working, or: I don’t know if I want it all, but I sure as heck don’t want it now | Quills and Typewriters

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