I Don't Have To Be A Female And A Feminist

I Don't Have To Be A Female And A Feminist

And that is okay.
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Here we go. Feminism, a topic that I generally try to abstain from but I figured it was time to speak out. The reaction I get from women who find out that I do not agree with the feminist movement is mostly anger and disappointment. Reasonably so I understand why, they are supposed to be fighting for equal rights for women, aren't they?

My problem is the fact that honestly the feminist movement wants to do good, but their image and certain beliefs are overpowering what it used to be. Things that I personally cannot knowingly sign up for and defend. According to Webster's Dictionary Feminism is, by definition, "the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes." A definition that was once accurate, but now I see the type of feminism presented as a group of women trying to put men down like women have been since the beginning of time. Which doesn't the bible say turn the other cheek? An age old idea that putting other people down doesn't alway raise you to the point of power that you want.

Women over the years have been given amazing rights in the United States, that I am proud to say I have. In 1893 Colorado was the first state to pass an amendment to allow women the right to vote. Finally on August 26, 1920 the 19th amendment of the Constitution was passed granting women the right to vote. On June 10, 1963 Congress passed the Equal Pay Act to make it illegal for a job to pay a female less for the same job a man would do. Yes the feminist movement has been useful in the past and we have gone very far, but I don't think the things they stand for anymore are what needs to happen. Equality of the sexes in my mind reaches a certain point and then we get into a gray area. As a woman I believe there are just things that we cannot do and there are things men cannot do that we do.

As a student with a psychology minor I have studied the lifespan development with breaking down each period of life into different classes. I see the effect that dual-earner families has on children. Yes, I understand the reality of life expenses and some people have to work to support their child. But, children also need consistency and a connection with a parent to then be able to trust the world for future relationships. A nurturing skill that men just don't always possess. It is so often that the feminist movement is not fighting for equality anymore, but instead they are fighting for this idea of men and women being identical. Which by nature is impossible, men and women or different there is no way around that.

The feminist movement plays women as victims and only that. I do not want to have a victim complex and have to believe that I am at a disadvantage where ever I go. This is not the mindset I want to have about myself nor encourage young girls to have, I want to be a strong independent women and people are telling me that I am not. I hate to say it but those people are often the feminists. I think it is just as important focus on the fact that young boys are being forced to be child soldiers as girls being forced into arranged marriages in the middle-east and how wrong both of those are. Injustices in this world are much deeper and much bigger than just between men and women, especially in America.

The wave of feminism currently presented is telling me things that I choose not to believe. It is okay that I love to cook, it is okay that I want to take care of people, and it is okay that I want to take my husband's last name, whoever he may be. It isn't wrong that I want to do all of these things, I am a nurturer; it is in my nature to do these things. I don't believe that looking down upon women who do these things aren't reaching their full potential. Some of us are happy with the way our lives are spanning out or have spanned out. I don't want to force you to live that life if it isn't what you want, so don't make fun of me for living the life you detest. I do agree that women are not lower than men, God loves us all equally. I know that all feminists do not look down on women who do live this life, I thank them for that.

On the topic of God this moves into the subject of abortion. I am pro-life. A simple statement of a female fighting for the rights of unborn children, their rights almost seem less important than everyone else. If you want to fight for equality and women's rights, then where are the rights of the unborn daughters and sons? Since when do we get to decide which person gets to have rights? Aren't you fighting for equality or fighting for equality when it only works in your favor?

I believe that women deserve equality, as does any person no matter their gender or nationality. I just do not believe that the feminist movement is fighting for that definition equality anymore. Maybe once upon a time they did, but this new wave, in my mind, does not meet the standards that I want to follow. I am a Female and not a feminist and that is okay. We each are allowed to have our own opinions, this just happens to be mine.

Cover Image Credit: Smith & Hattery

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17 Empowering Bible Verses For Women

You go, girl.
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We all have those days where we let the negative thoughts that we're "not good enough," "not pretty enough" or "not smart enough" invade our minds. It's easy to lose hope in these situations and to feel like it would be easier to just give up. However, the Bible reminds us that these things that we tell ourselves are not true and it gives us the affirmations that we need. Let these verses give you the power and motivation that you're lacking.

1. Proverbs 31:25

"She is clothed with strength and dignity and she laughs without fear of the future."

2. Psalm 46:5

"God is within her, she will not fall."

3. Luke 1:45

"Blessed is she who believed that the Lord would fulfill His promises to her."

4. Proverbs 31:17

"She is energetic and strong, a hard worker."

5. Psalm 28:7

"The Lord is my strength and my shield."

6. Proverbs 11:16

"A gracious woman gains respect, but ruthless men gain only wealth."

7. Joshua 1:9

"Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."

8. Proverbs 31:30

"Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised."

9. 1 Corinthians 15:10

"By the grace of God, I am what I am."

10. Proverbs 31:26

"When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness."

11. Psalm 139:14

"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made."

12. 1 Peter 3:3-4

"Don't be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God."

13. Colossians 2:10

"And in Christ you have been brought to fullness."

14. 2 Timothy 1:7

"For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline."

15. Jeremiah 29:11

"'For I know the plans I have for you,' says the Lord. 'They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.'"

16. Exodus 14:14

"The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm."

17. Song of Songs 4:7

"You are altogether beautiful, my darling, beautiful in every way."

Next time you're feeling discouraged or weak, come back to these verses and use them to give you the strength and power that you need to conquer your battles.

Cover Image Credit: Julia Waterbury

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Celebrating My Mom: Her Beauty and Strength

Here's to the most inspirational woman in my life.

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In observance of International Women's Day on March 8th, it is of paramount importance that we take a few moments to consciously recognize the women in our lives. We often call the women we adore by casual names like "Mom", "my sister", or "my girlfriend", and, usually, these nouns are intimate enough to replace their names---but not today. Today is for appreciating you, Melanie Daugherty, my mom---not as my mother, but as a human whom I hold with the highest regards.

It is easy for me to recall the innumerable times you've embraced me (even though I considered myself to be a disappointment), forced me to put my qualms into perspective, or insisted I put my aspirations into action (because "can't is too lazy to try") ; but, the magnitude of your accomplishments shouldn't always be measured by its impact on me, however, if it were to be, let it be the times you've inspired me.

Mom, I have always appreciated you, but I truly began to define you as my idol during my sophomore year of high school. During this time, I began experiencing shame in my identity. I was an athletic girl, but suffered from body dysmorphia, as well as a misunderstood and pessimistic perception of my inner thoughts. I became very introspective and was completely fixated on thoughts of worthlessness and lack of purpose. I assumed chronic fatigue was just a characteristic of being a teenager. In me, you recognized a past version of who you once were. I cried to you and you embraced me in your arms. My deteriorating state of mental health was not your burden, and you refused to let me define myself by diagnoses and prescriptions. Recognizing your success and triumph over anorexia and depression motivated me. I was so proud to be your daughter. Knowing that confidence and appreciation for the world was possible to achieve accelerated me into a period of self-reflection and determination. I wanted to trace your template of self-improvement with my footsteps and create a new image of myself---one that would reignite my childhood "spark".

You're not just my hero for saving me, but for giving me someone to admire. You live your life without limitations. Competing in the 140.6 mile Ironman triathlon is an accomplishment in itself, competing in the Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii is even more incredible, and completing eight of these triathlons is enough for most people to call you "crazy" rather than by your name. Your greatest demonstration of strength however, was not through athletic prowess, but through mental and emotional perseverance.

Losing your best friend to breast cancer was almost inconceivable because no one ever wants to acknowledge it as a possibility. What people also try to forget, is that it is just as possible for their lives to be taken from them. After learning to cope with your best friend's death, you were diagnosed with stage three breast cancer. Watching you grow progressively weaker was enervating in itself. This wasn't a reality I was able to accept as truth, partially because you were my mom, but also because your strength was an aspect of you that I didn't think could ever be taken from you---and I was right.

Although your complexion grew pallid and your body could no longer sustain itself, your mindset remained the same. You would not accept a last breath, and you ensured that every breath you took reiterated that. You demonstrated to me that positivity is the panacea that combats a discouraged mind.

Mom, for you, I am proud. I am grateful to have lost sometimes, because without loss, I wouldn't have been able to realize my strength, and I wouldn't have realized that if you hadn't been my anchor.

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