Feminist Questioning

Feminist Questioning

Why I choose to be a feminist.
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Why are we raising girls who grow into women who think that they need a man to define them, to protect them, to provide for them? I didn’t realize that somehow, overnight almost, we, as a culture, had gone back to medieval times, where women needed a man at all times.

What happened to the fury, the want, the independence that our ancestors fought for? What happened to the trailblazing? When did that fire die? The rally in Times Square, are those forgotten? The freedom of the sixties, where we had the freedom to be yourself and love who you want, where did that go? Is the ambition left behind for us to once again stay at home to bear children, cook, and do housework? Certainly not.

People ask me why I am a feminist, with their lips curling downwards at the word, as if it is dirty. Are you gay, they will ask. Do you hate all men, they continue to question. No, I answer, I just want some to have the same opportunities as men. They will retort the women do have the same opportunities as men. Yes, we may have the same opportunities, but we do not have the same chance of achieving those opportunities, of continuing our ambitions, of not being discriminated the whole long while. For every dollar that a man makes, a woman, doing the exact same job, is only making 74 cents. Why is that? Are we weak? Certainly not, because we are strong. Are we emotional? Yes, but that allows us to connect with the world and people all around us. It allows for us to feel what others might not and to be able to freely communicate these emotions. Then why be a *hushed whisper* feminist.

Me, being a feminist, means and says that I will not give up. I want to see the separation and cultural boundaries between men and women dissolve. Workplaces, life styles, and our culture would be equal. Stay-at-home dads would not seem so crazy and radical. Women and men would make equal amounts of money. Boys and girls wouldn’t be limited to play with certain toys and only watch certain shows. This is the ideal world, but how could we possibly move towards this point?

The most obvious answer to this complex question is to stop sexist stigmas that are holding us back. Saying lines such as “men don’t cry” or “she’s being overly emotional about nothing” would end. What will this do, one might ask? This will allow us to stop being divided by restrictions that are confining us. This will us to be humans who feel things and not have to hide it. Possibilities and will awaken and our equality will be at our fingertips.

Why have gender equality at all though? Wouldn’t that confuse people, sexuality would become confused? Say that you are a parent to a pair of maternal twins, a boy and a girl. Raised in the same environment, schooling, and values, with the same work ethic and ability to achieve. They go into the same field of work at the same office place. This is the best example of inequality that can be easily explained. The girl does the same amount of work as the boy, but doesn’t make the same amount of money. Instead, she gets paid less, does the more “womanly tasks” around the office (cleaning up small messes, bringing sweets to meetings, and decorating for office parties), and is sometimes sexually harassed at times even. Now, as a parent, you listen to your offspring tell you about these differences. Are you hurt for your daughter and tell her to fight against it or do you tell her that that’s just how the world is? Do you tell her not to worry about it because she’ll soon be married and not have to worry about working? These are just the small differences that can mean the whole world to some women.

A woman who has dated many men and goes on dates often is thought of as needy, slutty, and promiscuous. A man in the same situation is congratulated, clapped on the shoulder, and is thought of as “manly.” Why do we have two very different views of the same situation?

Some ask me where my feminist views come from, who inspired them, who raised me to believe like this? They come from being surrounded by a community of strong women, with sturdy faith, and who never gave up. These views also are inspired by my mother. She raised me as a single parent from the time I was five years old. Her faith never wavered, even as the Recession of 2008 hit us hard, and her having only a part time job. I can still remember sitting with her while telling me that anything is possible for women, that my education will one day become my most valued possession and that nobody will ever be able to take it away from me. I remember her telling me that someone’s history does not define their future and that you should never judge someone because of their past or how they look. All that matters is now and what you do with the days that you are given. She raised me around women who never thought of giving up and whose faith was always strong, no matter what got thrown at them.

My background in this amazing community is my inspiration, my reason, my everything for all that I believe in now. How could I be anything else. How could I let their stories go unheard? How could I let their cause not get carried on to the next generation? How could I let myself get carelessly passed on to a man, like business transaction? I can’t. That is why I fight for equality between genders. That is why I am a feminist.

Cover Image Credit: Barbara Freeman

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6 Things You Should Know About The Woman Who Can't Stand Modern Feminism

Yes, she wants to be heard too.

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2018 is sort of a trap for this woman. She believes in women with all of the fire inside of her, but it is hard for her to offer support when people are making fools of themselves and disguising it as feminism.

The fact of the matter is that women possess qualities that men don't and men possess qualities that women don't. That is natural. Plus, no one sees men parading the streets in penis costumes complaining that they don't get to carry their own fetus for nine months.

1. She really loves and values women.

She is incredibly proud to be a woman.

She knows the amount of power than a woman's presence alone can hold. She sees when a woman walks into a room and makes the whole place light up. She begs that you won't make her feel like a "lady hater" because she doesn't want to follow a trend that she doesn't agree with.

2. She wants equality, too

She has seen the fundamental issues in the corporate world, where women and men are not receiving equal pay.

She doesn't cheer on the businesses that don't see women and men as equivalents. But she does recognize that if she works her butt off, she can be as successful as she wants to.

3. She wears a bra.

While she knows the "I don't have to wear a bra for society" trend isn't a new one, but she doesn't quite get it. Like maybe she wants to wear a bra because it makes her feel better. Maybe she wears a bra because it is the normal things to do... And that's OK.

Maybe she wants to put wear a lacy bra and pretty makeup to feel girly on .a date night. She is confused by the women who claim to be "fighting for women," because sometimes they make her feel bad for expressing her ladyhood in a different way than them.

4. She hates creeps just as much as you do. .

Just because she isn't a feminist does not mean that she is cool with the gruesome reality that 1 in 5 women are sexually abused.

In fact, this makes her stomach turn inside out to think about. She knows and loves people who have been through such a tragedy and wants to put the terrible, creepy, sexually charged criminals behind bars just as bad as the next woman.

Remember that just because she isn't a feminist doesn't mean she thinks awful men can do whatever they want.

5. There is a reason she is ashamed of 2018's version of feminism.

She looks at women in history who have made a difference and is miserably blown away by modern feminism's performance.

Not only have women in the past won themselves the right to vote, but also the right to buy birth control and have credit cards in their names and EVEN saw marital rape become a criminal offense.

None of them dressed in vagina costumes to win anyone over though... Crazy, right?

6. She isn't going to dress in a lady parts costume to prove a point.

This leaves her speechless. It is like the women around her have absolutely lost their minds and their agendas, only lessening their own credibility.

"Mom, what are those ladies on TV dressed up as?"

"Ummm... it looks to me like they are pink taco's honey."

She loves who she is and she cherished what makes her different from the men around her. She doesn't want to compromise who she is as a woman just so she can be "equal with men."

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Frances Folsom Cleveland Braved Through The Duties Of First Lady On Her Own

"Frank" braved through the duties of the First Lady on her own, gave lavish receptions, and allowed the women of Washington Society to critique her manner and appearance with the ease of an experience debutant.

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Frances Folsom Cleveland married President Grover Cleveland in the middle of the second year of his first term. Known as "Frank" by family and friends, she was naïve, sensitive, and eager to please her husband. The media was mesmerized by this contrasting couple. Many described them as "Beauty and the Beast." And the Washington elite waited to see how Frank would settle into her position as First Lady. The president, however, did nothing to guide her in that regard.

Frank braved through the duties of the First Lady on her own, gave lavish receptions, and allowed the women of Washington Society to critique her manner and appearance with the ease of an experience debutant. The president was known as a micro-manager when it came to the state of the county, and this meant that Frank spent a great deal of time alone. At a trustee meeting at Wells College, Frank met Richard Watson Gilder, a poet, and editor. They became instant friends and she took him and his wife back to meet the president. Frank confided in Mr. and Mrs. Gilder of her boredom and at times discussed political views she never addressed with her husband.

President Cleveland believed a woman should not get involved in politics or have a political agenda, and certainly not his wife. Frank did not make political statements, but her popularity was used by the Administration as well as the Democratic National Committee whenever possible. Like the Kennedy's, the media began a campaign of spreading rumors of affairs and abuse. Democratic opponents of the President accused him of beating his wife and mother-in-law. This was the only time Frank made a formal statement to the media denying the allegations. As a result, this media hype was detrimental to the President's bid for a second term. Frank was so confident that her husband would return to the White House she told the staff to keep everything as is she would be back in four years.

Four years later, President Cleveland won the second term and they returned to the White House. They lived there in the same manner as previously, only during the "social season," and the rest of their time in a property they rented. Frank's role as the hostess was admired by everyone and she took this to be her job as the First Lady. Unfortunately, the President was diagnosed with jaw cancer during this time and with the country in economic turmoil the couple thought it best to mislead the country of his diagnosis and surgery and Frank played an important role in deceiving the press and public during his recovery. Unlike Edith Wilson, Frank did not choose to make any decisions on his behalf.

Not only was Frank the youngest First Lady, but she also the first to give birth to a child in the White House. The Cleveland's had five children, three daughters, and two sons. President Cleveland passed away in 1908 and Frank remarried an Art History Professor, Thomas J. Preston Jr., from Wells College less than five years later. She did not become politically active until the start of World War I when her husband became involved in the National Security League (NSL).

According to this site, "Although the former First Lady had avoided controversy throughout her public life, her work with the NSL proved otherwise. She suggested that Americans did not unite in support of a strong defense because of what she called the "huge percentage of the unassimilated population that cannot think or act together." The sense of psychological indoctrination and use of fear in classrooms to inculcate children seemed to cross a line within the ranks of the organization and Frances Cleveland Preston resigned from the organization on December 8, 1919. Equally controversial was her contention that women were yet intelligent enough to vote and when they were given the vote, were not successful in politics and should instead focus their civic activities on welfare charities. In May of 1913, she was elected as vice president of the New Jersey Association Opposed to Woman's Suffrage and served as the president for the Princeton chapter.

Frances Folsom Cleveland was a statuesque woman with charisma and personality, she was an educated woman and traveled to many countries before becoming First Lady at such a young age. She made no attempt to persuade policy as the First Lady. She did charitable work on occasion, she had an opportunity to change the course of women's rights but chose to stay the course alongside her husband and let her greatest accomplishment as the youngest First Lady be her image and style.

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