Until when will we keep looking down upon women?
As you all know, for over a week many people have been talking about Emma Watson’s HeForShe campaign concerning the advancement of women’s rights. And, especially, about her recent speech. Here and there I had read a few quotes from it. Various articles, generally quoting the same parts, praised her. I had even seen a picture and liked her dress.
Yesterday, I decided to watch it.
I am incapable of expressing what I felt as I did so. Tears formed in my eyes. The purity of her words. The meaning hidden behind each one. The impact I hope it had and will continue to have on each of us. Fascinating.
If you have not seen it, then please do. Tonight.
I am not writing this to praise the great woman Emma Watson is. I am writing this to praise the meaning of that video I saw. I am writing this to ask everyone to participate in this campaign. I am writing this to share with you my own story.
More often then not, I feel that feminism is expressed by those who do not wish to be mothers. As Watson believes (and I agree) it is associated with man-hating, I believe it is expressed by those that have made different decisions. I would like to see women who have nine grand-children say that they are feminists. I would like men say that they are feminists. I would like to see the stereotype of what a feminist is, change. I would like it to be represented in our minds by people who care about equality, and live by it. Because, I am afraid, it is not the case this present day.
For instance, Independence is sometimes paired with a form of solitude. Independent is she who has excelled in a job and not married. Does this mean that every woman to have spoken vows, was actually forfeiting her independence? Marriage is not a chain. It is not a chain for women, as it is not for men. And our personal opinions, regarding these matters should not, I think, be mixed with our understanding of what liberty and equality are.
In my opinion, Mona Lisa Smile, starring Julia Roberts, is a movie that depicts that thin line very well. If you have never seen it, then please do. Tonight. It speaks volumes regarding feminism, gender-related stereotypes, and change. It is a brilliant movie, brilliantly executed.
I am a feminist.
I always have been.
I know four other women that are feminists: my sister, two friends of mine, and my old math teacher. I’m not saying that these women (or girls) are the only ones in my immediate circle that care for gender equality, I am saying, rather, that they are the ones that I personally know take this matter to heart. Three of them, dislike the idea of having children. One of them, is dating. Two of the three that do not wish to bear children, also do not like marriage. And one of the latter, does not believe in it.
I don’t know where I am. I think I am placed in the middle. I believe in love, and marriage. I believe in the joys of motherhood. However it does not necessarily mean that this is the path I will one day lead. I might get married. I might not. If I don’t fall in love, then I will not get married. Marriage is not “the next logical step” in anyone’s life. And I shall never get married for the simple sake of being married. And I certainly refuse the idea of moving from my father’s home to my husband’s home. Because, too often, it is the case. In complete honesty, I don’t really wish for to have children. I don’t see why I should plan my life around it. I wouldn’t feel like myself. I do, however, think that if one loves one’s children, and raises them to be open-minded people, then one would have assured, as much as possible, a healthy new generation. And the well-being of humanity never ceases to occupy my thoughts. Hence my confusion.
I don’t believe in having one’s life planned from one’s birth, or perhaps even from one’s existence as a fetus. I believe in one’s liberty of choice. I know nothing of the future. Perhaps I will fall in love tomorrow. Wed in the coming years. And live to see my great-grandchildren. If it is my decision, then I would be glad of it. But if I feel that I need to be alone. Then so be it. If I live with the man I love and respect and receive the same from, but do not see myself nursing. Then so be it.
Do any of the above things make me an immoral human being? Am I suddenly deserving of a frown, or of “abnormal” description because I believe that there is not one difference between a man and a woman where their abilities, merits, and personal decisions are concerned? Do you, dear Reader, believe that I am wrong to not center my life around a white dress and a white picket fence?