I’ve been seeing this phrase used a lot lately, particularly with women ages 18-29; “I don’t want to hold a picket sign, I want a white picket fence!” or “I don’t want to raise a picket sign, I want to raise a family!” and I’m here to tell you that nobody is asking you to make that decision. In fact, it isn’t even a real question, it’s a total non-issue, it’s an either/or fallacy, and I’m sick of it.
We, as women, are no longer subject to the idea that you either have a family life or you’re pro-equality, this is 2018, not 1952.
The very idea that you, as a woman in 2018, think you need to choose between having a family life, and standing up for your rights, proves that feminism is absolutely still needed.
It shows us that there are still people who think the choice is equality or a home life, that you can’t be pro-women, and pro-family.
You are why women are still marching.
Women are not marching for the pure fun of it, we are not marching because we don’t love our families, we are not marching to be needlessly controversial, or to make men feel inadequate. We are marching because of the pink tax, because of reproductive freedom, because one in five women has been sexually assaulted, because women are still underrepresented in government, and because you think you need to choose between family life and equality.
Feminism is being whatever kind of women you want to be, it is the freedom to be that woman-nobody is telling you not to be a stay at home mom, a wife, a homemaker.
Nobody is telling you not to take your husband's last name, or be a great wife. While you may not realize the harm you are causing, you are dividing women with false choices and the idea that if you have a family you cannot also fight for what you believe in. You are holding women back.
There is no choice between a white picket fence and a picket sign, the choice doesn’t exist- I’m living proof, I have both. I have the perfect family, a great son, a wonderful husband (whose last name I took).
My family is what makes me hold that picket sign higher. I hold the picket sign so that I can be a better provider, so that I can show my son what gender equality looks like, what hard work looks like, what fighting for what you believe in looks like, so I can be the best mom, the best wife, the best version of myself.
We aren’t marching just for us, we are marching for you, too.