Am I a bad feminist
Hello there everyone. In todays post I am going to talk about feminism. Anyone who spends time on Facebook or Twitter must be aware of the huge numbers of tweets, blog posts, articles and discussions on the subject.
The general definition of a femanist is someone who believes in equal rights and opportunities for men and women. I believe in that whole heartedly and so I should be able to consider myself a feminist right?
Actually its not that clear cut. If you look beyond the general definition and start reading some of the things written by and about feminists, you get the impression there’s a list of things you have to do to become a ‘good feminist’ and an even longer list of things that make you a ‘bad feminist’. It feels like it’s less about the right to make choices and more about if you make the right choices. Looking at the life choices I’ve made in the last few years, it may look from a certain feminist perspective as if I’ve made the wrong choices.
What behaviours might make me a bad feminist?
Firstly I got married. There does seem to be varying opinions on weather getting hitched makes you a bad feminist. Only a small proportion of feminists appear to be totally against marriage, but there are definite Do’s and Dont’s associated with the wedding and its immediate aftermath.
1) – Being given away. This is something only a bad feminist would do. It implies you are the property of your father, to be given to your future husband.
However I chose to do this. I didnt feel it was a symbol of ownership over me, instead it was a visual sign that my dad, on behalf of my family blessed our marriage and welcomed my husband into the family (after a disastrous first marriage, this was very important to me).
2) – Taking my husbands surname. I remember a few years ago reading about the flack Cheryl Fernandez-Vercini got for changing her name when she got married. Because she was a role model for so many young girls and a modern feminist woman, she shouldn’t adopting such archaic practices. Personally I thought about keeping my maiden name or adopting a weird double barrel name, but in the end I chose to be come an Abrahams and in doing so we became Team Abrahams.
Secondly I am a housewife. I stay at home and look after the house. I cook, clean and do the laundry. My husband goes out to work and earns the money. This is a typically 1960’s domestic set up. We fit perfectly well with the stereotype male and female roles and this potentially gives me another reason for being called a bad feminist.
However the reasons we have adopted these roles goes far beyond the basic male/female stereotypes. I suffer very badly from social phobias, depression and anxiety. I cannot go out to work, so I chose to adopt the role of housewife. This makes me feel I’m contributing and am an equal partner in our marriage.
Thirdly I do things because my husband likes them. I cook meals I know he likes to eat. I wear clothes he likes. I keep my hair a certain length because he prefers it that way. This is bad feminist behaviour. Dressing for a man makes you his inferior. Favouring his choices makes you subservient.
To my mind this a load of nonsense (notice how polite I was there).
I chose to do these things because I want to make the person I love happy. It is a two way street. He watches history documentary’s because I enjoy them. He shaves more often because I don’t like stubble rash. He sleeps on the sofa when he’s been drinking so his snoring doesn’t keep me awake.
So am I a Bad Feminist?
No, I am not a bad feminist. I refuse to be put down and judged by other people because Ive chosen a traditional female role.
Feminism is about the rights of women to chose what they want to do from a full unrestricted range of options, and that is what I have done. I believe If a women avoids choosing a traditional female roles because they fear ridicule and abuse from other women, she is still oppressed just by a different group of people.
What do you think about the feminist debate? Do you think there are good and bad feminists? Are you a good or bad feminist?
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