To The Girl Who'd Rather Raise A Family Than A Feminist Protest Sign

To The Girl Who'd Rather Raise A Family Than A Feminist Protest Sign

You raise your picket fence and I'll raise my protest sign.
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You can raise your picket fence, but that won't stop me from raising my protest sign.

I don't think you fully understand what your social media feeds are constantly filled with. The protests, the quotes, the "mobs" of women protesting, they aren't doing this because women should no longer be mothers or homemakers.

We are not doing this because we feel self-righteous or that we want the attention. We need the attention because our fight isn't over.

I'm glad that you know so many females with leadership roles and so many girls in a male-dominated field. But does that mean our fight is over?

No, not at all.

Don't get me wrong, we have made strides in the past few years, but we are definitely far from being equal. Just because we have begun to make cracks in that very thick glass ceiling does not mean the fight is over. I am glad that you recognize the struggles that have taken place, but the progress is far from where we'd like it to be. The gender gap still does exist, I promise you.

"Please stop."

Because it is insulting the women out there fighting for equality for not only women, but also, minorities, the LGBTQ+ community, and all others who are not the predominant majority in the world today.

I know you say that new roles today force you to be shamed for being a homemaker, but that's where I think you aren't seeing the big picture.

I understand the fact that you think not taking some powerful position in an office seems like taking the backseat and being shamed for not helping out the women in today's society; but, women today are still put in the gender-role of child bearers and nurturers.

I have a problem with that. I want a successful career. I have wanted to be a successful woman for as long as I can remember.

Shattering that glass ceiling is something I look forward to, but since entering college I have become stuck between a rock and a hard place.

"Why?"

Because when I think about it, getting married and having children falls in the "backseat" in my mind. People ask "Oh, have you found a boy at college, yet?" Or, "How many kids do you think you'd like to have?"

And I freeze. I can tell them how I'd love to study abroad or get an internship with a professional sports team in their marketing division, but I don't really know how many, let alone if, I want to have kids.

You see, at least right now, being a homemaker or having a family doesn't have a top priority to me. But, that doesn't mean you can't have that as your top priority.

I will have no problem working long hours, researching and battling it out with the "big boys."

Still today that will be a hard-earned place to get to for a woman, I am willing to work for it. This doesn't make me any less feminine, or nurturing, or caring, or kind.

But, when people realize I am not necessarily focused on finding a life partner, or figuring out what the names of my future kids will be, I am stereotyped as being a cold, ruthless woman who doesn't play well with others.

However, I am not. In no way does this define who I am. This also doesn't set in stone that I will never get married and never have kids. And coming from me, if you have the patience and power to raise multiple kids and run your household, all the power to ya girl. I don't think I could do that. I grew up with an amazing stay-at-home mother, but the whole idea just doesn't appeal to me. I totally understand the mindset, because being a homemaker was exactly what my mother wanted to be.

Being a homemaker does not make her weak and frail; she is one of the strongest women I know, and can definitely get shit done. The best part of feminism is that it gives you the power to do both, it is just that being a powerful woman in a workplace carries a lot more stigma than being a homemaker.

So let me look forward to my business blouse, afternoon meetings, and spreadsheets.

I'll support you in your endeavors through supporting the PTA and helping out the local community schools. Just like you said, "It doesn't matter what side you are on as long as we support each other, because we all need some girl power."

Cover Image Credit: Nagel Photography

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You May Have Worn The Prom Dress With Him, But I Get To Wear The Wedding Dress

You had him in high school, but I get him for the rest of my life.
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High school seems like the best time of your life when you are in it. You think that all of your friends will be with you until the end, and that you will end up with whoever you are dating your senior year. For very few, that might just be the case. For all others, that is far from true.

You thought that you would marry your boyfriend and you thought that everything would work out how you had always imagined. I don't blame you though. He's great. You wanted everything with him, but you were just not right for him.

I wish I could say that I am sorry it didn't work out for you, but I can't. I can't because he is mine now, and I get to cherish him forever. You didn't do that right, and you were not meant to be together. You will find someone too, but I am happy that you were not the one for him.

Sometimes I have issues with jealousy, and I hate that you got all of the high school stuff with him. You got to go to games and support him. It kills me that I couldn't be there for him because I know I would have actually been there wholeheartedly. I would have done it out of love, not as a popularity appearance.

I hate that you got to go to all of the school dances with him. He got to see you all dressed up and probably told you how great you looked. I'm sure you did look great. Prom dresses were always fun to pick out and so colorful. It was exciting to match colors with your date. I am sure you had fun choosing his matching tux to your dress.

I find myself getting jealous, but then I stop. I am getting to match his tux with our wedding colors. I got to go dress shopping in a sea of white, and he doesn't get to know one detail about that dress yet. He will get to see me walk down the aisle and then every day forever. I get to love him forever.

I try to not get jealous of all of the things you got with him because it is all in the past. You had your time, and now I get the wedding. You got to dress up in high school, but I get to dress up for my wedding with him. He may have put a corsage on your wrist, but he will be putting the wedding ring on my finger.

Cover Image Credit: Jessy Scott

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To Whomever It May Concern; It's Time To Forgive Yourself

Personal growth is cultivated through successes and mistakes, beating yourself up over the latter is counterproductive to progress.

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We've reached that point in time again where it seems that the general population in its entirety has recommitted to improving themselves with the start of a new year. While it's refreshing to have a renewed determination to eat better, be kinder, or achieve the goals you had attempted at last year, the beginning of a new year can also prove to be a source of anxiety. As many sit down to put their goals on paper in hopes of making them more attainable, it's all too easy to be bombarded by all of the reasons that ones' ambitions are beyond what that person is capable of.

Memories of past short-comings and words of self-deprecation uttered in moments of perceived failure are compounded by a general fear of the unknown for what the future holds. In my own experience, I've come to understand that the limits we place on our capacity for achievement, happiness, and growth are the direct results of not forgiving ourselves. So many goals are set with the intent to receive some form of external validation to indicate that the world has forgiven our flaws and deemed us worthy, but if we can't forgive ourselves and see our own worth, then how can we possibly expect anyone else to?

In the safety and comfort of your own imagination where you are free to envision your best self, living the life you have always hoped for, the only person that can condemn those ideas for being unrealistic is you. When we allow that sardonic voice from the back of our minds to inhibit our dreams, we permit that voice to embed itself in our conscious thoughts and put trust in our inadequacies rather than our capabilities.

For those who have yet to forgive themselves of their own trespasses, failures, and mistakes; the next time you have the thought to better yourself or your life and find it being attacked by memories of deficiency, do not concede to those assailants with the belief that you are incapable of becoming and achieving anything you choose. Instead of willing away those thoughts that remind us of what we are trying to grow from, face them, face your old self with forgiveness, and decide how you're going to become someone better because of who you were.

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