Hello Thursday! Meet my blog group, comprised of a fantastic group of ladies who will dazzle you with insight on various topics. After reading my post, check out their blogs as well. Just click on:
Froggie (Tracey): One frog’s distinct voice on the world around her.
Merry Land Girl (Melissa): Tales of a suburban mom who likes to talk about pop culture, books, Judaism, family, friendship and anything else that comes to mind.
Darwin Shrugged (Denise): Civilized Observations in an Uncivilized World
This week’s topic choice comes to us from Tracey, and it’s simply: Feminism.
If you Google the definition of feminism, you get: “the advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men.”
I’ll be honest. This was a tough topic for me to digest. Over the course of my life, I’ve never felt less than, or as though I’m not as tough or as competent as a man might be. I wasn’t raised to believe otherwise. I remember a conversation with my grandfather back in the 80’s, when I was just some punky kid with her whole future ahead of her. He told me something that I took to heart and never forgot.
“No one is better than you, and you’re no better than anyone else. You can be whatever you want to be.”
I know he told me this because he didn’t want me to walk around as though the world owed me a living, yet he also wanted me to recognize the potential I had to achieve anything I put my mind to, without belittling anyone on my way to reach my achievements. This is how I’ve primarily lived my life, with a few random slip ups, of course. I’m only human. I’ve let opportunities pass me by, and I’ve jumped feet first into many a situation where I should have really thought it through first, but I’ve never felt my being a woman was the reason holding me back.
I’ve never been career-oriented, not ever. When I was asked in high school what I wanted to be when I grew up, it was never manning a large corporation or owning my own business. Those were never my aspirations. I wanted a secure job, something that would take care of me and provide me with a roof over my head and food in my belly. I guess it’s those blue collar roots ingrained in me. I come from a line of hard workers who work their asses off to provide for themselves and their families, if they’ve got one to support. I was raised to be independent. I had my first job at the age of 14 and my first apartment when I was 20. No one else paid for it, it was all on my own, and let me tell you there were plenty of Top Ramen and Mac and Cheese nights, but it was well worth it.
I recognize the hardships women have faced over many years to try to assert their independence. Recently I’ve been a lot more interested in my ancestry and after looking into census reports from the early 1800’s, I’ve found that many of my female ancestors listed “homemaker” or “housekeeper” as their line of work. I wonder how they would have felt bearing witness to the fact that many of the women in my family now have gone on to do amazing things outside of the home, working alongside their male coworkers, or how there are more and more men leaving the corporate world to help raise their growing families.
I’m not sure if I would categorize myself as a feminist, but I do believe in equal opportunities. I believe we have the right to do what we choose to, in order to live a happy fulfilling life. For some, it’s owning their own business and climbing that corporate ladder to success. Others might find happiness raising a family and staying home with their children, or they might mix it up. I don’t care if you’re a man or woman. If it’s what works for you, then it works for me. I don’t think a person should be judged for what they feel passionate about.