Equality and Feminism

Hello and Happy Friday! Today's topic is so not the norm for the blog but since it is on my mind I felt like I needed to get it out. If you are not interested in my thoughts on equality and feminism, please feel free to stop reading.

So where did this come from? Well, it's something I have thought about on and off for the last couple of years and came around again this morning as a Facebook post I made years ago (that I was reminded of this morning as a Facebook memory) Also, I saw a post someone put on their page about equality in the military. 

So first, let's start with equality. As a girl born in the 80's, I do not have as much personal experience with this. I was not involved with protests and burning my bra to make a statement or anything like that. Sometimes I wonder if I have "the right" to make a statement on something I was not personally involved with but then, I think of what equality means to me, and realize I do. What equality means to me (I feel like I am starting an essay...) is the freedom to choose and be given the respect to do so. What equality does NOT mean to me is that everyone is equal, meaning the same. Now, I do believe that everyone is equal in that we should be all be given the same opportunities and choices and the same level of respect, regardless of our choices.

So for example, the military example I read this morning. There was an article saying due to equality, women should be drafted and the comment someone made was, "What do women think of equality now?" Um, to me, equality is not about men and women doing the same things. It means that men and women are given the same opportunities to do the same things, respected the same for those things, and are valued (and compensated) the same for the same level of work. Meaning, if I wanted to go into the military, I should be able to make that choice, given respect for doing so, meet the same requirements as anyone else, and be valued for my work at the same level as a man. If I should choose not to go into the military, that should be okay too. If I tried to apply for the military and did not pass the requirements, I would be denied, just like any other man who did not meet the requirements. 

See, I don't think men and women are good at the same things. Just like I don't think women and women are good at the same things, and men and men are good at the same things. We are all DIFFERENT, and it's beautiful. I think men are capable of many of the token "women" stereotypes and vice-versa. That doesn't mean that anyone should or should not do something they want to do. I have a friend who is the one who does the household repairs and builds the new furniture they bring home. Her husband has no interest and is not skilled in doing so. That's okay. I have another friend who is a stay-at-home parent and runs the household. That friend is a he. And that's okay

What really irks me is this idea that because women want equality, now men should just sit at home and not contribute to society (I have seriously been told this by more than one man). What really pisses me off is that when they say this, this leads me to believe that they think women, prior to entering the workforce, sat at home and didn't contribute. Apparently raising children is nothing. Running the household is nothing. WTF? No, women did not enter the workforce to push men out so they could sit at home and play video games while their wives went to work, came home and then ran the household. Equality was not about women now having to do EVERYTHING. It's about give and take. It's about complimenting one another. It's about doing the things you want to do, not what society has defined as part of your gender role. It's about equal contribution. My job as a nurse is just as valuable and important as my husband's job as a brewer, as my friend's job to raise his child, as my cousin's job to cut hair, as my dad's job as an engineer. 

And that leads me into my thoughts on feminism. Feminism is NOT doing the same things as men. It not about dressing like a man, talking like a man, being ruthless in the workplace, or being burly and building things. It is about being a STRONG and proud woman and being given the respect it deserves. To be a feminist, I do not need to go get some corporate job or become a mechanic. I do not need to join the military, buzz off my hair, and hide my boobs. To be a feminist, I just need to be myself, and do so proudly. I am a woman, and I am capable of great things. And if I choose to do "token women's work" than I will do so proudly and will demand respect for the work that I do. I also, will not tease or disrespect a man if he wants to do that work too. My work will be valued based on merit, not my chromosomes. 

I happen to be girly. I went through a phase where I would only wear dresses. I still wear dresses about 75% of the time. I have next to no interest in how things work and building stuff and fixing things. I have never wanted to be a firefighter or carpenter. I have always wanted to be a nurse, doctor, and mom. I like to clean. I like flowers. I like the color pink. I also have a strong stomach and can handle poop, vomit, and blood. I have no problem telling gross stories at the dinner table. I love ridiculously inappropriate movies, like "This is the End." I am an individual. And hell, I could choose to enter the military tomorrow and that would be okay. I am a person first, then a woman. 

We cannot be defined by pink and blue

There is no right way or wrong way to be a woman.

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