Growing up, my mom was my feminist role model because she was one of the most educated women I knew. Despite being an immigrant and poor, she put herself through college, received her bachelor's degree followed by two masters. She was definitely an expert in her field. My mom's career was probably the second most important thing in her life besides me. She always encouraged me to read, and constantly advocated that getting an education was the most important thing I could do as a woman because it would open so many doors for me. Also, it meant that I wouldn't need to fall back on a man later in life. I was so proud of my mom because unlike most of the mothers of my school peers that either stayed at home or had part-time jobs, she had a career.
As the years went on, elementary school turned into middle school and middle school turned into high school, I remember learning about the oppression of women and the little rights they had. I would get upset that women two hundred years ago were not allowed to go to school or own anything because they themselves were the property of their husband. With total confidence I can say that I would have been crusading for women's suffrage and independence because I cannot fathom living in a world where I would spend my days wearing a corset making subpar meatloaf, waiting for some subpar husband who paid twenty chickens in dowry for me.
However, even though my mom was someone I looked up to, having a mom that was always working and prioritizing her career was difficult. This meant that she was not around to chaperone any school field trips or bring me lunch if I forgot it at home. Home cooked meals were another rarity. Do not get me wrong, every night we had dinner on the table, but it was usually something that was just bought. I think that's where I get my affinity for rotisserie chicken. Even though you weren't the kind of mom that I could learn to cook dinners with or pick me and my friends up from school to take us out to lunch, I wouldn't have it any other way.
Thank you, mom, for showing me how important it is to pursue getting an education and even though I am a woman, I am so much more than that. I am happy to have had a role model that defied societal gender roles and pursued a meaningful career. Also a shout out to my dad for never feeling emasculated or threatened by my mom's success, but rather encouraged her to be the strongest and most accomplished person she could be.