I have always considered myself a feminist. However, as I have gotten older and evolved, so has my idea of what it means to be a feminist.
What I once thought was me being an advocate for girls and women to be independent, to find their own voice and become their own person was really me being narrow minded about what exactly that meant. I come from a very small southern town. The things I have always desired for myself are much different than what many of the people I grew up with wanted for themselves. I don’t want to be tied down to one place. I want the freedom to move and travel whenever and wherever. I’m in no rush to get married. I want a career of my own. I want to earn things for myself without relying on anyone else for it. And, I used to want every other girl and woman to want this, too.
I never understood why anyone wanted to get married before the age of 22 and then immediately start a family. I never understood why anyone wanted to stay in our small town; never living in a new place to experience more than the small town they had always lived in. I never understood why any woman would want to be a stay at home mom. The list goes on, but you get the gist of the direction I’m going with this.
To some extent, I still don’t understand these things. But, I don’t need to understand them. It’s other people’s prerogative. People get to choose to live their life however they want without judgement. As long as each person is making the decision for themselves and not being pressured or persuaded into the decision, it’s none of my damn business how they choose to live. This I understand now more than ever. I must say… thank goodness my views have expanded since my high school and early college days.
A big part of being a feminist [to me] is making sure every girl and woman knows she has the ability to choose for herself and to act on it. Whatever it may be.
Women get to choose: to get an education, what type of career they want, when to have children, to not have children at all, to be a stay at home mom, when they get married, if they want to get married, who they marry, what happens to their body, what they wear. And, so much more. Women get to choose.
As women, let’s also choose to lift one another up. To encourage each other. This is something I am working on being better at. The more we empower one another, the more confident we each become in letting our voices be heard. And, we need our voices to be heard. To let the world know that we are plenty capable and deserve to choose for ourselves. We deserve all the same opportunities as any other person. We should not be seen as any less.
“We want to empower women to do exactly what they want, to be true to themselves, to have the opportunities to develop.” – Emma Watson