What makes people decide to be a feminist person? For me it was reading about the witch trials in Europe and how women who understood the healing power of herbs and were in attunement with animals were called witches and killed in various horrible ways. Millions of women, men and children were killed for being witches. It was a mass hysteria which took over most of Europe and England. As always, there were sexual favors that might save your life. But torture was always a part of it and men were usually the jailers, guards, judges and executioners. Add to that the abuse from my childhood, and feminism was what made sense to me in this crazy world, though this was the seventies. We still live in a harsh, unjust and often uncompassionate world.
I got involved with Domestic Violence. And I was proud and excited to be able to help women and children; to be a feminist. “Feminist” is the only tag I will tolerate wearing. Many women live feminist lives and just don’t label themselves as such. I have known women who just never thought of themselves in these terms; but they lived it and passed it on to their children.
Feminists are like trees in a woods. We come in all sizes and shapes. Some are intensely passionate, as I was, and marched and picketed for women’s rights and children’s rights. Some quietly lived their lives without giving a thought to what kind of woman they were.
Every woman who has taught her sons never to hit a woman is a feminist, whether they use the term or not.
Every woman who has taught her sons that “no means no” is a feminist.
Every woman who insists their family functions with justice for all members is a feminist.
Every mother who teaches her daughters how to take care of themselves is a feminist.
A feminist isn’t a weird aberration of what a woman is. A feminist simply believes that all human beings are equal, regardless of sex.
He or she believes that women’s work is as important as a man’s, and they should be paid equal wages for equal work.
Feminists believe that no one should be owned. We do not believe that marriage means that one partner now owns the other. A couple, married or not, should be equal partners, each with their own set of strengths and weaknesses: a compliment to each other.
Feminists believe that no one should have control over a woman’s body except herself. Doctors and the government do not even try to tell men what to do to/with their bodies, yet it is acceptable for them to do so with a woman. Not to a feminist.
Feminists and Humanists believe that we are all brothers and sisters living on one planet together. We also believe that every child deserves a good education and corporate America should not benefit from these kids financially.
Feminists and Humanists believe that lives should be free from fear and violence. If you are in a violent relationship, get out. Call the hotline number on this blog and get the help you deserve.
It is time for a woman president. I strongly feel this. Men should not have all the power and control in governments and it is time to change this. There have been a few women leaders in countries around the world and now it is time for America to step into the future.
The time is way past the days of “the little woman at home, cleaning, taking care of children, and cooking dinners for the boss”. Those days, rightly, died out in the forties. They died out because of a man, Hitler who brought the world to the brink of destruction. Men were drafted to fight and push the Nazis back into Germany. So our government needed women to go to work. The icon of that age was “Rosie the riveter.”
Until the War, a woman had been told she only had value in the home, and then found out she had value in work outside of the home. Some even found out they enjoyed that work outside of the home; it made them feel needed and important. When WWII was over, women were forced back into the home to make jobs for returning vets. For some this was great. For some this chaffed like cheap wool on sensitive skin.
Then Betty Friedan wrote a book called the “Feminine Mystique” and the simmering pot boiled over. Many women wanted to work; others wanted to be home with their families. Many wanted to both have a job and family. Some women didn’t want to have children, and didn’t feel that made them incomplete, or less of a woman. None of this had to be an either/or choice. And suddenly, women began to realize that we do, indeed, have choices. We could be the woman we were meant to be. We weren’t less than men, and the choice we could make didn’t make us less of a woman, or more of a woman. Whatever we chose, we could be gloriously all we were meant to be, and all we wanted to be.
Progress is coming and women will be a part of it. We will partner in the future with feminist men and make this a better, fairer, kinder world. There will be equality for all lives. All lives will have quality. Hunger will end and disease will be cured not just for the wealthy but for the less fortunate also.
Whether you are a silent feminist, an outspoken one or not a feminist doesn’t matter. The future is coming and together we will make it be better than it has ever been.