Is feminism still relevant to me: a woman in her early twenties in a modern 21st century country founded on freedom and equality?
Being surrounded with ladies in different life stages, I hear some talk of how they aren’t happy in their marriages/partnerships, but they don’t feel economically independent enough to enforce their value in their relationships. Perhaps that has changed now, but with the recent resurfacing of long-term domestic abuse in a particular high-profile realm, I suspect it hasn’t.
- The “resurfacing” to which I refer is the domestic abuse situations from NFL players against their wives. It would be easy for me to say, “If women are being abused, why don’t they leave?” But if I take the perspective of these women, would I make the same decision to stay in an abusive relationship? I don’t know the case-by-case scenarios for NFL players’ wives, but I suspect it is similar to the abusive relationships in the mass public. Women being raised to believe they have to be “hot bodies”, in which case they under-develop their intellect and formal education to focus on becoming “valuable” in the relationship in the way they know how. Oftentimes, women “feel” they bring value by being the hottest girl, not the smartest, wittiest, mentally strongest, etc. Think about how women prepare for dates. Think about how women choose their careers – which grow the mind and also fund the home. (Let me interject to say, I’m not trying to play the blame game. I am looking for a resolution – a step forward into a better future.)
- Internationally, I believe the subject is even more relevant. On April 14, 2014 (yes – modern times), almost 300 schoolgirls in Nigeria were abducted for having the audacity to attend school. I dare say this is not an isolated incident, only one that made the headlines. In many parts of the world, women are harmed for educating themselves. Another famous example is Malala Yousafzai of Pakistan. Perhaps this conversation should expand our minds not only to our own underlying social constructs, but those of the international society.
For a very select few of my girlfriends and myself, we believe we are just as economically independent as males believe themselves to be, but for many of my girlfriends in small town Louisiana, that is far not the case. They do not see that they could have just as much input in the financial decisions, location decisions, etc. of their marriages (current or potential relationships). Keep in mind the phrase “gold digger”. Have you ever – even once – imagined a man in this context? No – we naturally picture females. Similarly, the phrase “trophy wife”. Notably, there is not a phrase “trophy husband”, except in facetious joking.
Now, this is not to say that every woman should feel the way I do, but I think we need to open up the dialogue to allow for more women to feel empowered to fully embrace what they bring to the table.
The main point I embrace in the classic feminist movement is that women are able to bring an equal amount of value to the institution of marriage in the realms of mental strength, wisdom, decision-making, and more. However, I do also believe that the man is the head of the household. I think of Joyce Meyer, who is a very strong woman who influences millions of people worldwide through her books and broadcasts. Even she says her husband sits in the “decision-making chair” of their household – if they disagree, at the end of the day he is still the person whose decision they maintain.
In the classic definition of feminism below, I cannot find fault in the feminist movement:
fem·i·nism (ˈfeməˌnizəm/) noun – the advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men.
On the other hand, the main point I do NOT embrace in the modern feminist movement (at least the one we see amongst most pop stars/celebrities) is that feminism means fully realizing that women can be just as much “awakened” in their animalistic partnering with multiple men, because men do it, too. THAT IS NOT FEMINISM. That is justifying a wrong by matching the wrong. In the article below, specifically referring to Beyoncé, I do not think part of her feminism is truly feminism. I think she miscategorizes it, but that is simply my opinion. I could be mistaken. I don’t think I am, as I have seen more of the classic feminist movement whose main focus is equality in areas which are, to me, necessary. Political, social, economic equality to men – I can stand behind that.
I write as a woman, a daughter, a future wife, and a future mother. I write in representation of myself, my own rights, but also those of my daughters. I hope they grow up in a world where women everywhere are more empowered to be independent of the fear of any of mankind.
In hopes of a better future,
P.S. For your reading pleasure, here are a couple of articles that may be as interesting to you as they were to me. I am not supporting the views of the articles, but am supporting the discussion of feminism in general.
Christian Science Monitor: Beyonce
TIME: Taylor Swift