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 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.
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.”
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.
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.