Am I Doing Feminism Right?

5 Sep

I have always felt a duty to my gender to declare myself a feminist. I have always had this irrational fear that accidentally doing one anti- feminist action would completely topple the entire facade of feminism I worked so hard to build into my moral compass. As of late, however, I have learned this to be comically wrong.

I have openly talked about how I don’t necessarily want to get married.

“Marriage is a dying institution!” I would scoff. “It is an institution based on patriarchal values, in which a woman essentially becomes her mans slave!” I would screech.

(I have a flare for the dramatic, I know.)

“High heels must be a ridiculous male invention with the sole purpose of making women’s legs and butts look better!” I would say in disgust.

“I refuse to wear heels! I am a feminist.”

“What is a bra? Seriously, boobs weren’t meant to be caged. Let them go free. I am a feminist.”

“I hate shaving my legs. My boyfriend can deal with the hair. I am a feminist.”

“Bikini wax? Yeah right. I am a feminist.”

“Make up is for vapid women. I am a feminist.”

“Ugh. I would never be a stay at home mom. My dreams are too big for that. I am a feminist.”

“I can’t believe that woman quit her dream job for her husband. Marriage is basically just giving up on all your dreams if you are a woman. I will never marry. I am a feminist.”

“I don’t need to have kids to be satisfied with life. Maybe I will adopt ten dogs instead. I am a feminist.”

“I don’t believe in monogamy. It isn’t natural. I am a feminist.”

“I believe in abortion! I am a feminist.”

“Women are always right. Obviously. I am a feminist.”

All of these things, and more have been engrained in the minds of so many feminist all over the world. Somehow, in the midst of me trying to support all women and advocate for their rights, I lost the ability to differentiate between what I truly believe is feminist and what everyone else believes is so.

You can still be a feminist and get married. You can still be a feminist and not get an abortion. You can still be a feminist if you wear a bra and shave your legs. (Although, bras… I really do HATE!) You can still be a feminist and raise a family of six. Relationships are about compromise and sacrifice. You can still be a feminist if you quit your job for the betterment of your family or move across country for your husband. You can still wear heels and be a feminist. (Although, like, why would you? Ouch.)

All this time, I had it all wrong. Being a real feminist is not doing every anti-traditional womanly thing possible. It is about living your own life based on your own individual values and morals and letting your self figure it out along the way. Being a feminist is not judging other women. EVER. The whole entire point of feminism is to find a support system in your fellow feminist friends who also understand the hardships you may be facing. The entire point of feminism, is to make others see that women are equally intelligent, creative, passionate, caring, and just as powerful as men. How can we do this if we are all just sitting around, twiddling our thumbs, judging each other?

To be a feminist you must be more than okay with who you are. You must be proud of who you are. You must advocate for the equal treatment of all humans regardless of their similarities or differences from you. You can not be judgmental of those who are different, for not everybody sees the world through the same lens. And most of all, you must be supportive of one another regardless of each other’s life choices. A married, stay at home mom of three can be just as much a feminist as a single career woman who is a lesbian.

Come on, guys. Let’s stop trying so hard to do feminism “right” and just be there for each other.

Through the swampy waters and mosquito bites. Through the golden hours and wedding bells. Through the births and deaths and failures and accomplishments. Through the laughs and tears and the randomness that is life. Just be there.

It is the only way.

And for goodness sake, remember there is no right or wrong way to do feminism.

There are simply, just, different ways.

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9 Responses to “Am I Doing Feminism Right?”

  1. lereader September 5, 2013 at 7:29 pm #

    Such a succinct summary of the conflicts that have been going through my own head Thank you. Honestly. Thank you for this post.

  2. Taylor Devost September 5, 2013 at 8:26 pm #

    Thank YOU for reading. I have been struggling with these also. Glad you could relate!

  3. bamwallzip September 9, 2013 at 3:29 pm #

    IF YOU BURN HER TO FLAMES TONIGHT I WOULD BE VERY GRATEFUL! HAVE THIS SITE DELETED HERE: BERLIN: ENOUGH RADICALS LEFT? THEN FEAR AND BE CAREFUL! SHE WON’T STOP BUT ALL BERLIN GIRLS DEAD FOREVER WARNED EXIT: SHE IS TURKISH KILL ALL OF THEM!!!

    • Taylor Devost September 9, 2013 at 9:23 pm #

      What a hateful person you must be. I can only vaguely understand what you are talking about. All Berlin girls dead forever? NO idea what you are blabbering on about. I am not a radical. I am human. I have opinions. Don’t like them? Then don’t read my blog. Thank you and good day.

  4. bamwallzip September 9, 2013 at 3:32 pm #

    100 years we leave you burning feel it here!!!

  5. Jeff September 12, 2013 at 6:03 pm #

    “To be a feminist you must be more than okay with who you are. You must be proud of who you are. You must advocate for the equal treatment of all humans regardless of their similarities or differences from you. You can not be judgmental of those who are different, for not everybody sees the world through the same lens. And most of all, you must be supportive of one another regardless of each other’s life choices. A married, stay at home mom of three can be just as much a feminist as a single career woman who is a lesbian.”

    Very well spoken! Based on your definition, I am a feminist! 🙂 Seriously, I have considered myself a “male feminist” for many years, now.

    • Taylor Devost September 13, 2013 at 7:54 pm #

      Well, I am glad to hear that you are a feminist! There are much too few in the world. Thank you for reading and commenting!! And thank you for being a supportive and kind human being who believes there is no freedom until we are all equal. xoxoxo

  6. Claudia Rogers September 16, 2013 at 11:23 am #

    I completely agree – I once had someone tell me that going to university and wanting to get married (eventually) were completely incompatible, as they saw one as a feminist stance (university) and the other as ‘traditional’ and ‘anti-feminist’! Your blog post makes it so clear you CAN do/believe in both – feminism can be done in different ways, and isn’t just about shunning tradition. Thank you!

    • Taylor Devost September 16, 2013 at 6:38 pm #

      It certainly took me a long time to realize that both are okay and can be done by a feminist. The most important thing, I think, is to be true to yourself while continuing to support other women around you. Thanks for reading! xoxo

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