Over the past year voices telling me the right way to be the right kind of woman have become very loud – and no, they are not coming from inside my own head.
If you’re not a 3rd wave feminist you’re not a not a feminist at all. Egalitarianism has taken root and prospered, and the word ‘feminist’ is no longer necessary, passé, and even dirty. Feminism has men feeling belittled, threatened and taken advantage of to the extent they’ve created their own movement to defend their male goodness and rights.
All so contrary…
Most recently, while I was at a conference for women military veterans over International Women’s Day weekend this year, I witnessed the timely launch of a book and website by Sheryl Sandberg, arguably a woman who has achieved it all – with a hefty dose of criticism over her Lean In Circles as being akin to 1970′s pot lucks. This following Marissa Mayer under the spotlight for taking maternity leave as the new CEO of Yahoo, saying having a new baby in her life wasn’t as difficult as she’d been told, as she had a nursery built next to her office – something not accessible to most women on their climb to the top.
Fundamentalist Christian mommy blogs talk about women’s lives in very traditional puritan terms and biblically mandated gender defined roles while they craft and cook with one baby on the hip and others in the play pen. Muslim women fight to uphold their cultural traditions of modesty. FEMEN protest sextremism topless around the globe and skeptic feminists proclaim the patriarchy and its privilege twist the arms of women into subordination, as if through the divine right of Adam.
Have western women arrived in the second decade of the 21st century of the Anno Domini able to make the choices they want and more importantly, to realize the choices they make – whatever they are?
When I analyze my own path thus far, I see a someone who does not come from privilege, has marched to the beat of her own drum, made non-traditional decisions, never felt boxed in beyond choice, never once thought her existence is what it is because she is a woman (except for some mild gender role conditioning as a child) – and is happy.
How are you doing?