I just finished reading this well-done post on how to come to the conclusion every modern woman asks herself: Am I a feminist or am I not a feminist?
Simply put, this post explains feminism in these terms:
If you believe in, support, look fondly on, hope for, and/or work towards equality of the sexes, you are a feminist.
I am relieved I read this article. I am relieved it was so well written. It simply defined something most complicated. I can say until tonight--one hour ago--I was not educated enough to answer the question for myself.
But I think I can answer it now. Tonight. Hopefully.
I am not a feminist. Because I don't support, look fondly on, hope for and/or work towards equality. Equality, that is my hang-up.
Equality has never done any good for me. When I try to look at the world with my equalizer glasses it leaves me empty and upset. Equality presents a scale and binds you. And when I dissect my marriage, nothing makes me more anxious then the expectation that things are equal. It makes a measuring stick out of our relationship. And I don't want to spend an entire marriage judging the allowance of equality.
Speaking of my relationship, Chup will surely remind me that this is all semantics, so let me define equality (for me) : fairness.
And life is not fair. So how can it be equal?
But even if it could, I don't want to be equal to the males in my life. I just want to be me. If that means I am more, then I am more, if that means I am less, I am less. But most of the time I think I am more. And I think most women are too, but that is a post for another day.
On a personal note, I was raised with five brothers in a family where being a boy was a joy. A joy! The boys went on fishing excursions, deer hunts and summer trips to Dodger games in LA. And even though I'd rather chew on tinfoil then do any three of those chosen adventures, I often resented their opportunities. Because I was looking for "me" in all of that. Where was my adventure? Where was my harrowing experience on the ocean? My Dodger dog? (Was that a Freudian slip?)
It was the very search for equality that made me feel unimportant. I wish I would've been happy for them. Supported their celebration without hoping for reciprocal experiences. Besides, they didn't owe me their good times to make up for my losses. In the end, I didn't even have losses. I just had differences.
And I will always have differences. Even natural occurring differences. Comparing male and female body structure negates the occurrence of physical equality. He has more there, and I have a lot more there. (Talking about hair on our heads, of course.) But even more complicated than a human body are human emotions. How do you measure something immeasurable as feeling joy or heartache? How can those be equalized? A paycheck? The ability to vote? Or be hired? Yes. But the harmonious-yet-horrid hormonal experience of a monthly cycle? There is no way possible to divide those spoils evenly.
Equality to me is like elective plastic surgery. Sure you can get the desired results, but it won't guarantee certain happiness.
And days like today when a coughing fit in the final month of my pregnancy induced spontaneous vomiting which in turn released all contents of my bladder before I could make it anywhere near a toilet, I think two things:
Male and female will never be equal.
I (me, personally, c jane as of right now, in my life) wouldn't want it any other way.
*photo taken by
Jed Wells May 2009
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