Sunday, March 20, 2011
Definitions of Feminism
As I was getting ready for work Friday morning, I heard a local radio host interview Phyllis Schlafley about her new book "The Flipside of Feminism." My first exposure to Mrs. Schlafley was my junior year of high school when the Equal Rights amendment debate was in full swing. Admittedly, I have never read any of Schlafley's books, but I have seen her interviewed many times on TV.
I do agree with her on several points. How liberal feminists have tried to convince women that we do not need a man gumming up the works. That having children when you are not married is "cool". The list goes on.
I often wonder, when I was born in 1965, if my mother had any idea of the vast array of opportunities that would be open to me by the time I was 21. In those days, the options for women were scarce. If you did not marry right out of high school or soon after, the only viable career paths for women were secretaries, nurses, and teachers.
If someone were to ask me what my "definition" of feminism is I would have to tell them that the first word that comes to mind is choice. The choices for women today are like nothing any society has ever seen before. You can choose to be a stay-at-home Mom, a job that does not get nearly enough credit or attention, but more often than not is just something blown off as menial. You can be a doctor, a lawyer, a trash collector, or you can blaze your own trail, the sky's the limit!
The reason liberal feminists loathe the very ground Sarah Palin treads is that she is a walking definition of feminism.
She is attractive, educated, intelligent, is happily married to a wonderful supportive husband, has great kids, and a great career. Their problem is that, she is supposed to be a liberal too. The conservative part was not supposed to happen, and it wrecked their whole vision.
My argument with Mrs. Schlafley would be this. Many women who came before me have opened the doors of opportunity for me. While I probably do not agree politically at all with the early feminism movement movers and shakers, I cannot deny the progress they made for the women of my generation. I think that sometimes Mrs. Schlafley would like us all to be June Cleaver, vacuuming in our pearls again, having dinner on the table at precisely the time Ward comes through the door. Guess what Phyllis, the cat is out of the bag and I don't think that will be happening. Too many of us learned early on that men were not standard equipment, they were strictly optional, and we could accomplish the goals we set for ourselves all on our own.
Some of us have been blessed with amazing husbands or boyfriends and children, and we know we would not be who we are without them. But it was our choice. Having been on both sides of this fence, I know how vital it is to have a choice.
I think I only have one more question for Mrs. Schlafley...What is Ward cooking for dinner tonight?