What Feminism is to Me

What Feminism is to Me

*DISCLAIMER* I usually don't write about controversial topics like this. I know not everyone may agree with me (and maybe no one does). However, this is something I believe in and wanted to share my opinion about. I am not claiming to have any special knowledge, and I strongly urge everyone to form their own opinion. Please be gentle :)

(Cover photo by Darren Corpuz, Haku lei by Haku O Hawaii)

A few months ago, my Aunt (my mom's sister) came to town to visit from California. The three of us had a nice lunch downtown and took a stroll around, perusing all the little shops that have been there forever. I have no idea how the subject came up in conversation, but at some point, I said "I'd definitely say I'm a feminist."

My mom stopped and looked at me like I was nuts.

"What?" I asked, almost laughing because I knew what she was thinking. When people think of a feminist, the first things that come to their minds are unshaven legs & armpits, women walking around topless, and a woman who won't allow a man to open a door for her. These are in fact examples of feminists, however they are very radical and a little unrealistic if I'm being honest.

Merriam Webster defines feminism as: the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes.

That's it.

If you believe that both men & women should have equal rights, then you believe in feminism. Being a feminist does not mean refusing chivalry from men, or doing things in spite of men, or believing that women are better or stronger than men or ignoring personal hygiene to make a statement. (That being said, personal hygiene is subjective and means different things to different people. So hey, who says women need to shave? It's all up to personal preference.) It does, however mean equal pay for equal labor, and that all things having to do with the kitchen aren't assigned specifically to women. 

In the Bible Ephesians 5 talks about wives submitting to their husbands. I completely, 100% believe that this can coincide with feminism, if approached in the correct, healthy manner. Proverbs 31 describes the ideal woman, or a woman of noble character. The chapter describes her as precious, trustworthy, hard working, successful, providing, energetic, loving, profitable, generous, kind, independent and strong. BOOM. What better way to confirm that women are just as capable than from the Word of God?! (I suggest reading these two chapters for yourself for a better understanding!)

After explaining this to my mom, she nodded in understanding. Feminism doesn't need to carry the negative connotation that it does. I want to help to promote understanding and eventually to lift that stigma. So yes, I will wear a t- shirt that says "Girl Power" on it, and at the same time, let my boyfriend open a door for me. Yes, I Can carry heavy things on my own, but yes I will accept help if it is offered to me. Yes I'll cook us dinner from time to time. Yes, I will shave my legs and wear makeup, and wear that color that he likes on date night. These things aren't anti- feministic. I don't do them because they are expected of me. I do them because I want to. I want to be a Proverbs 31 woman and a feminist at the same time, and it's 100% possible.

Thank you for being here and spending this time with me.