One of my blogging friends, Kitten, asked me if I would join her in a March blogging challenge on writing on the topic of femininity. This challenge is for every day of March, and I won’t be able to fulfill that, but I may do one or two posts during the month.
For my part, I’d like to talk about femininity and feminism, or really, how feminism tried to steal my femininity. As many people know, I am an avid critic of the modern feminism movement and some of the concepts it represents. This quote accurately sums up my thoughts on it:
I think there is a fundamental misunderstanding that lies at the root of feminism. This has impacted women of all ages, but I think it has especially impacted these young girls. This sense that freedom is the ability to do whatever I want, whenever I want, and that the earlier I can experience this total freedom, the better. But we know that freedom is the ability to do what you ought to do, to do the good, to choose the good. – Colleen Carroll Campbell
I love this quote because it points out something that is glaringly obvious to me about the feminist movement: Freedom can be paradoxical in that, the more choices you have, the more responsibility you have to make the right choices. When you have “total” freedom, people will expect you to use it in the way they see fit and often make it a moral issues if you don’t.
When I was a little girl, I rarely played with dolls, had very tomboy-looking dresses (if I wore dresses at all) and was encouraged to participate in more masculine activities because femininity was seen as weakness. Technically I had “choices”, by I was highly discouraged from choosing feminine ones because they were somehow inferior.
It always baffled me how I was told that men were supposed to be the oppressors, their traits and qualities were undesirable and they were what was wrong with society, but in order to exercise our equality correctly, I was supposed to act the same way and do the same the things I was supposed to hate about them. I was supposed to be strong (read: obstinate), independent (I was told no woman should need a man), and taught that men were always wrong, women were always right, and I should never apologize to one for anything.
I was supposed to believe what we (women) wanted was equality, but I never believed it.
Feminism, not the patriarchy, was what tried to steal my choices and my femininity.
Feminism heavily influenced the expectation that was placed on me to go to college, even though I knew I wanted to be a stay at home mom and didn’t need to rack up debt to get an education I didn’t plan on using.
Feminism was the reason I grew up having never once planned my own wedding because despite thinking it sounded fun, I knew that wasn’t what “strong” girls did.
Feminist rhetoric was the reason I was bullied and harassed by classmates who said I was wasting my life by having my son, even though I was married and nearly done with college. I was free to “choose” to be a mother so they could burn me at the stake and make an example out of someone they saw as a weak woman.
It was those same feminist classmates who tried to physically injure me (and got caught by the professor) so I would miscarry when they found out I was happy to be pregnant.
It was feminist care providers who tried to coerce me, multiple times, into an abortion on the basis of being too young and needing to finish my education before having a baby.
It was feminists (who would bite your head off if you called them radical), who came after me after I wrote my article on respecting my husband when he voiced concerns about me breastfeeding uncovered and not posting breastfeeding photos online. You see, it was MY decision to listen to him about it because I *gasp* love AND RESPECT him, but because he first voiced the concern I was told I am brainwashed by the patriarchy for listening to the man I vowed to love and cherish forever.
It was a staunch feminist acquaintance I knew that made several statements during the presidential election about how if you weren’t voting or if you weren’t voting for the female candidate, you didn’t deserve to be called a woman. Because it’s all about freedom to choose, right?
It has been the feminists I once considered friends that took every opportunity to snipe at my husband and their own every chance they got over every little thing. Women are allowed to get away with anything short of murder in their eyes, but one screw up from a man means you should send him packing! I watched them take pride in giving other women poor counsel so they would leave their husbands and suck them dry from child support. I refused to be a part of it, further angering them and soliciting “not a real woman” comments.
It is the feminists that tell me I am free to choose what I believe in, and then take it back when I say I don’t believe in feminism. I’ve learned this: they’ll tell you that you are free to choose, but how they act will show you the truth…you are only supported by them if you do what they want.
Feminism has taught me that homemaking isn’t an acceptable career, you must go to college to be taken seriously as a woman by other women, getting married and having a baby young will get you ostracized by most feminists, and genuinely enjoying girly things like skirts, makeup, dresses and jewelry instead of seeing them as nuisances is weak. Despite the name, feminism is actually an enemy of true femininity in so many ways.
Thank goodness I recognized the conditional nature of the freedom modern feminism offers and declined it with gusto. I’ll take my twirly skirts, red lipstick, handsome husband, messy toddler, mountains of laundry and my “oppressive, patriarchal” Christian faith over feminism’s lies any day.
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