In my everyday life, where does feminism have its place? I realized that it doesn’t have a place necessarily, it just simply exists. I don’t need to scream from the rooftops that I am woman (roar). I am, and that is enough for me. I work extremely hard and although I believe that it’s ludicrous a woman still makes about seventy cents per every dollar earned by a man, it doesn’t stop me from being a diligent professional. There are thousands of women who have paved the way so that I can be a professional.
I am a married woman. My husband and his career do not and certainly never will define who I am individually, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have the capacity to love him with my whole heart and respect him as a human being. I also love makeup, and fashion and looking pretty. Enjoying those things does not make me less of a woman and I don’t judge other women who don’t enjoy the same things. My individuality and that of other women is beautiful and powerful on its own.
I won’t deny there are times when I have wanted to throw feminism in people’s faces. I have and will when the moment is right (blatant sexism for example), but in essence I feel that standing strong personally will have a larger impact than screaming my views at everyone I come in contact with who doesn’t agree with me or says something to piss me off. I have become really good at reading people and from those initial readings, being able to focus on whether or not a discussion will be just that or turn into something I could ultimately regret. I explain my beliefs to others and am passionate about them but I will not be offended when others don’t agree.
Just like there are different kinds of management or parenting styles, there are just as many styles of feminism. I choose to be relaxed about it. Feminism is part of personal identity and I don’t judge anyone for how they approach it. I look up to all different kinds of women and it’s that individuality which also makes feminism so interesting and so amazingly important and powerful in our society. Standing with and for each other is, for me, more important than my personal agenda.
I think of feminism in my daily life like I think of Judy Chicago’s Dinner Party. Bold and imposing and yet quiet and celebratory. All those women who have a place setting at that dinner party were different. From the positions they held to the way they embraced their own understanding of feminism. Every day I strive to be a woman who other women will be proud to call a friend, colleague, mentor, sister, etc.
In turn, I support all of my friends, no matter how they choose to represent themselves as women. For me surrounding myself with various perspectives is healthy and leads to great strength in friendships. My friends and I can introduce new ideas to each other without fear of ridicule. In a world full of ‘Keeping up with the Jones’s” (or the Kardashian’s), until every woman (and man) can embrace each other’s choices, I don’t believe it’s possible to make true progress with ourselves and our personal identities.