My mother wasn’t quite a member of the burn your bra movement, but she was close. Knowing that, it’s probably no surprise that she raised me to be a feminist. I was encouraged to choose any career that I was interested in. I knew the names of famous feminists before I hit puberty. We even visited the Women’s Hall of Fame in Seneca Falls, New York. It wasn’t until my early thirties that I truly became a feminist, though.
The first step is to define what feminism means to you. The Random House Dictionary says that a feminist is a person who advocates social, political, legal, and economic rights for women equal to those of men. I have my own personal definition of feminism: Enabling individuals to make the choices that they want with no regard to gender. It is crucial to respect the choices that all individuals make. Being a stay-at-home parent is as valid a choice as being CEO of a company. We all have different paths, and feminism is empowering everyone to walk the path that they choose.
The next step is to look for role models. There are many women and men throughout history who have fought, been imprisoned, and even died in the name of equality. I’d like to share some of my favorite role models in coming months. Some women I’ll be highlighting are Jeanette Rankin, Wendy Davis, Alison Lundergan Grimes, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and many more!
It is an exciting time to be a woman, feminist or not. We have women in so many leadership positions, accomplishing world-changing things, and they are amazing women. How can we watch these women and not strive to be the best we can be?