Wednesday, March 10, 2010

MY feminism is about equality, not domination

This entry is in response to another blogger's discussion about equality that can be found here.

She makes some valid points: women are *not* the same as men in many respects, nor should we necessarily aspire to be. However, this difference has been exploited over the course of millenia to sometimes force women into roles which they may not want and has been historically been used to keep males in power.

As a feminist, I am often criticized for degrading women who wish to take a more maternal role by staying home and not having a career, or who take a more domestic role in their marriages. This is an inaccurate complaint. Feminism, at it's core, is about equality, and about not using traits of one gender to subjugate another. That is, that women (and men) should have the choice to stay home, or do whatever, based on what is best for them and their families, not because some arbitrary law or moral code dictates such. So, if a woman chooses not to go to college, or to be subservient to her husband, as long as it was her legal choice, then who am I to judge even if I would never make those choices for myself?

Are there feminists out there who burn their bras or who are searching for a way to eradict males from the gene pool? Most certainly. But then, are there not Christians who might want to eradict non-Christians? But, you say, those are not Christians, whatever they call themselves, and do not define an entire religion. Ah, then why must the bra-burners define *me*?

What *I* oppose, as a feminist, are public messages and policies that do not allow women to make those life choices for themselves. Am I any less of a woman if I choose not to have children? Or, am I less of a mother, if I choose to work? For that matter, would my husband be less of a man if *he* chose to stay home with the children and take care of the house? Or if he wore a skirt?

I would argue that we are defined by the roles that we create for ourselves, and how we treat those around us, not by some arbitrary social construction of masculinity or femininity. And, as a feminist, I only wish for all of us to be able to legally define those roles for ourselves.


  1. jordan_daniel2:13 PM

    why do you hate me?

  2. Great post! I especially enjoyed your comparison of the different degrees of feminism to the different degrees of Christianity.

    I would add the observation that, those who take the extreme viewpoints in both movements often disavow those who are less strict in their views, just as the more moderate insist that the extremes do not define the entire movement.

    I completely agree with you on the core of feminism--the right of women to choose the life that is right for them, whatever that life may be.