5 Second-Wave Feminist Ideals That My Mother Taught Me

5 Second-Wave Feminist Ideals That My Mother Taught And Stuck With Me

Essentially, she proved that marriage is often a social construct that ties a woman to a man, as well as social demands that hinder her from achieving her personal goals.

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A few days ago, my mom turned 57 years old. I think back to when I was a kid, and she was this strong, imposing, all-knowing adult. My mom is still that all-knowing adult, just a bit more physically fragile with each passing year. Now that I am an adult, and a terrible one at that, I'm trying to implement all of her life lessons -- particularly those that guide women. What shocks me the most about these ideals is just how applicable they are today, as women's rights are under threat both in our government and in our society. Therefore, I ask you to carry these ideals forward, and remember them the next time a President mocks sexual assault, the next time your coworker feels the need to comment on your relationship status, the next time a family member comments on your clothing, until there's no longer a "next time."

1. Don't wait to get married to start your life

My mother was born in the 1960s in India, to a moderately progressive family for the time. When she reached her twenties, my grandparents started to search for suitors in hopes that she would choose someone she liked enough to marry them. However, years passed and she did not find herself ready to marry. I mean, my theory is that she was just too good for all of those suitors, but I digress. After not securing a husband, what was then the equivalent to security, she decided she would take up her company's offer to work in New York, where she had no family and no friends. My mother not only rejected marriage as it was not convenient to her yet, but she also rejected the societal rule that a woman should not travel alone unsupervised. Essentially, she proved that marriage is often a social construct that ties a woman to a man, as well as social demands that hinder her from achieving her personal goals.

2. By all means, remain financially independent

As soon as I put my piggy bank money in an actual bank, with an ATM and everything, my mother told me this, "make sure you always keep that money for yourself and accessible to only you. Never share your personal bank account with anyone, especially your spouse. That's your hard-earned money." Aside from a joint account with a partner, one should be financially independent. This concept was rather shocking to me at first in that girls are taught from a very young age to fall in love, and therefore give their everything to their husband. My mother stressed a woman's right to work and a woman's right to equal pay. She also highlighted in this sad reality, that women cannot rely on society nor on men to take care of them as history has shown. When you have money, keep it. Use it wisely.

3. Having both a career and a family is possible

Following the motto of financial independence, my mother proved to me that a career and a family are possible. When I was a child, I often hated the fact that my mother worked late and even worked when she was at home. But now, I see that as proof of how hardworking and independent she is. She became the breadwinner at home and a leader at work. Men never have to choose between career and family. The pathetic maternity leave in the United States is evidence of this. Women are discouraged from trying to have both, and are forced into making a choice they shouldn't have to. My mother and many women of her generation are living evidence that a career and a family are both possible.

4. Culture shouldn't have the final say on what you can do

Coming from an Indian, traditional background, my mother did not have many options laid out for her as I do today. But that does not matter, because at the end of the day it truly is "your life." Culture and religion are beautiful things to honor but can blind us from what would benefit us most. Throughout history, men have used "proper" society as a way to control the actions of women. My mom could have lived to please society, but she didn't and I'm so grateful for that.

5. Never, ever, give up

A vague saying that can apply to nearly everything, but should be felt by all women. Women are now afraid of calling themselves "feminists," of speaking their minds due to a lack of solidarity. We as women must always be vigilant and aware of what society and politics do to us. Never forget that it was our mothers and grandmothers who fought for our basic rights today. When those rights are threatened, honor the ladies in our lives by never, ever, giving up.

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I'm A Christian Girl And I'm Not A Feminist, Because God Did Not Intend For Women To Be Equals

It is OK for me to not want to be equivalent with a man.

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To start off, I am not writing this to bash feminists or get hate messages. I am simply writing this to state why I do not perceive myself as a feminist.

March is International Women's Month and that is what has got me thinking about how I view myself as a young woman in the 21st century. I enjoy every day getting to soak up the world as a young lady, particularly in the South.

If you know me, then you know that I love and utterly adore Jesus. He is so perfect. He is everything. He is my whole life. Some people might say that I am a "Bible-thumper" or someone who has had too much Kool-aid and maybe I am, but I know who my Creator is and that He died for me, and that is all that matters.

In my young age, I loved to just sit in church with my parents and absorb all that God would deliver. As I have grown up, I have ventured off and joined a church that is different than my parents, so the responsibility falls more on me, but I love that. Since this era of independence began, I have thoroughly enjoyed taking ownership of my faith.

I spend a lot of time chatting with God, worshipping Him in all kinds of ways, and just diving deeper into His Word. Through all of this growth as a Christian, I have learned a lot, but something I have learned is a concept that some may not agree with, which does not surprise me.

I do not believe God meant for women and men to be equal.

There, I acknowledged the elephant in the room.

It is a shocker, I know, but I have some Biblical evidence to back up this belief that I have.

Let us begin in Genesis. God created man and then he created woman. This was two separate occurrences and order is key. He created Adam and then Eve.

Jesus treated women with grace and kindness, do not get me wrong. I mean just look at how He treated the woman at the well, the one who used all of her expensive perfume to cleanse His feet and not to mention His own biological mother! He has a truly unique place in his heart for women, but He also has special intentions for us in the world and in the family setting.

We are to submit to our husbands.

We are to be energetic, strong, and a hard worker.

We are to be busy and helpful to those in need.

We are to be fearless.

All of this is explicitly laid out by God in Proverbs 31.

We are not to be equal to our male counterparts. Jesus does not lay out the Proverbs 31 man, but He rather lays out the Proverbs 31 woman.

A husband or man is to be the head of the household as Christ is to the church.

A man is to love a woman so deeply that represents how he loves himself.

A man is to leave his father and mother.

Women and men are not equal in God's eyes, but they each represent Him in their own ways that the other needs.

If we were all equal, we would not need one another and therefore we would not need God. I am so thankful that we were not created equal. I am so thankful that God is so great that He could not just create only man or woman to represent His image. He is so perfect.

So, you see I am not a feminist, and it is OK.

It is acceptable for me to have this belief that God intended for men to lead women. It is also okay for people to have differing opinions. Writing this was not easy, but I know that not all people agree.

To feminists and those that are not, you are allowed to believe whatever you wish but have evidence to back it up.

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An Open Letter To The Middle-Aged, White Men Of Various State Governments Who Think They Own My Body

First off, I would like to express how disappointed I am in all of you.

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To the middle-age, white men of various state governments,

First off, I would like to express how disappointed I am in all of you. Do you even know what you are trying to do here?

In recent light, both Ohio, yes this state, and Georgia are trying to ban not only abortions but also birth control and miscarriages. First off, do you even know how to ban a miscarriage? A miscarriage is something a woman cannot control most of the time. From personal experience, my best friend's mom went through three miscarriages, and she didn't want them to happen at all.

Second, I hope it goes through your mind that birth control is not just for preventing pregnancy. I'm on birth control myself, but it is to control horrible cramps I had growing up and to keep my hormones in balance. I know people who have birth control for other medical reasons, like endometriosis and PCOS. Do you know what those are? Please do your research.

This was all written before Wednesday.

As more news comes into the light, especially with today's due date coming up, I'm seeing that even Alabama is trying to ban abortions, and there is no exception with rape. I'm sorry, but this is just all messed up.

If this is the government's way of trying to put us into a better future, they are making the future horrid for women.

This is not becoming the United States of America. This is becoming Gilead.

Yeah, Gilead. Have you read "The Handmaid's Tale"? If not or have not seen the Hulu series, I'll give a summary. Women are stripped of their rights and are put into a position where they have to bear children for powerful people. They don't get a say and are pretty much silenced into submission.

Let me talk about something that I'm pretty sure you've heard in the news already.

There is a girl in my state. Yes, Ohio. She is 11 years old, she was raped, and now she's pregnant. She learned she was six weeks and one day pregnant, and now she can't have an abortion. Why might you ask? Because this stupid Heartbeat Bill is preventing her. Even this new legislation is preventing her. NO ONE AT 11-YEARS-OLD SHOULD BE PREGNANT! THIS WASN'T HER CHOICE! Don't let her live with this and have to go through giving birth.

Oh, wait. She's going to have to because of these things.

So shame on all of the people involved. Shame on the government. Shame on these pro-life people that want to do away with safe abortion. Shame.

To those that are reading this and want to do something, you can. Call your state representative, vote in elections, voice your opinion, anything.

This whole thing not only has me worried for women of the United States, myself, and my future daughter if I have one.

I am in charge of my own body, not the American government and these "men".

Sincerely,

A 20-year-old college student, a liberal democrat, a woman who uses birth control, and a fighter.

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