The F Word

Lately I’ve been seeing a “dirty” word thrown around a lot. A word that assuredly brings to mind things like bra burning. As my husband says “the right to not have to make sandwiches” (yeah, he thinks he’s funny). Feminism. *GASP* I said it.

Anyone that is my friend in real life (aka Facebook) has heard my thoughts on this. Especially in the last couple of days. This last week has been a doozie. Saturday an amazing thing happened, in cities all over the world PEOPLE joined together to march for women’s rights. I’ve seen many people argue that we have rights, especially in developed nations. They are absolutely correct! We can vote, women can get an education equal to men, women can get jobs, women can drive cars. We can wear pants for crying out loud. Think about how many of these things haven’t always been afforded to women. It’s truly amazing, and no one said that our lives our miserable. However, we are still in many cases treated like we are unequal to our male counterparts.

Let’s take the wage disparity. Depending on which source you’re going with, it is anywhere from 8% to 30%. I’m willing to bet it’s somewhere in between. This may not sound like that much. In the average American family (if we are going with a 15% gap) that is $7800/year between a woman and a man. Think about as a single mother how much of a difference $7800 would make! For me, that’s my mortgage for 6 months. There is some research that suggests the gap is even larger for women that are not caucasian (but racism is dead). This is what we are talking about when we talk about gender equality. Being treated the same as men on a fundamental level. I know as well as anyone else that men and women are different creatures, that isn’t what I’m saying. I’m saying that equally educated people, that do the same job, should get paid the same amount of money. How feminist of me to want to be treated the same as the guy in the cubical next to me.

I also don’t want us to pretend that abortion, reproductive rights, and all of that are feminist issues. These are women’s issues that everyone should be concerned about. If you have a daughter, mother, or sister these things can affect you. We’re talking about things specific to women, yes. Men don’t need birth control (though that would be awesome). Few men need breast cancer screenings, and even less of them need pap smears (again, lucky bastards). We are talking about saving lives. We are also talking about the effects these things have on the rest of the social programs in this country (welfare). If women have access to birth control and health care they are less likely to have to quit their jobs because of pregnancy, or illness. (I do have a different rant on this topic, we’ll save it for another day) Sparing you, the concerned tax payer, another “leach” on the system. This is not a single sided coin.

Next! Part of the reason women all over the globe marched this weekend was in protest to “The Orange One”. Because he obviously has NO respect for women. I will not start to quote all of the awful things he has said, you are welcome to go google them. Go ahead, I’ll wait……………… He has been divorced 3 times, ok fine, whatever. People get divorced. But 3 divorces for adultery? That alone there speaks volumes, if he had any respect for any of his wives or his marriages this would be a non-issue. Oh, Becky. He has women in his cabinet! Yes, as the leader of education (again a different rant) and of his social activities. Let that sink in…. the only thing women are good for is planning social engagements and taking care of children. But, yes we are equal and worthy.

Lastly, but probably most important. Feminism is about being a woman, in whatever form that comes in. It’s about giving our friends, peers, family, colleagues, and strangers the right to be respected for and because of the choices that we make. I have personal experience with being outcast and ridiculed by other women because of my choices. I get so many glares and mean comments because we have 5 children. Just think, if our Sisters all stood up for a common goal and to support each other instead of tearing each other down. Instead of judging, and scorning. Instead of telling each other what we “should” be doing with our bodies, and with our God given gift of being a woman. We need to embrace each other, and before you open your mouths try opening your minds. Feminism isn’t a dirty word. It’s something we all should at least think about, not from a political standpoint but from a woman’s standpoint.

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