Facebook is great for many things. It shows us cute kids at dance recitals. It reminds us of our friends’ birthdays. And my new favorite element, it sends us down memory lane with the memories of this day in history, well, at least the history of me alive on Facebook which pretty much only dates back as far as I have been a parent and required some source of adult contact throughout the day.
Today I saw such a “remember when” reminder of an article I posted from the Wall Street Journal entitled “The Quandary of a Stay-at-Home Feminist.” Quandary. What a good word for this. The mental struggle to make sense of a really important issue. Or at least that is my definition of it. Re-reading this reminded me I have not yet unpacked what this means to me. I struggle with this “quandary” often.
My parents deserve all the credit for reminding me of my potential to succeed. Get an education, focus on your skills, and you will achieve greatness. I have strong female role models in my life from my mother to my grandmothers, these women maintain a life of staying educated, being heard, and doing what you love.
I have and continue to make education a priority in my life. I work hard to let my voice be heard, case in point, this blog. And I am reminded every day that I am doing exactly what I love and was called to do.
Still I struggle with that “quandary.” What I “love” in my current vocation is not necessarily defined in our society as success. There is no financial independence. There are no barriers being broken. My day to day is really no different than the women of last century who struggled long and hard for a place of honor and respect while stuck behind their own walls.
But I love it. This life of caring for and teaching my children throughout the day, it challenges me in a way that drives me to grow. It frees up my ability to pursue new dreams. It is exactly what I want to be doing in my life right now because it is the choice I made in order to feel whole.
So what does Feminism mean to me, I asked?
At the risk of playing my woman card, here is my conclusion.
Feminism is letting a woman make a choice for herself and her family that allows her to live a life as close to wholeness as she can seek.
Feminism is the right to choose wholeness.
That magical place where life is certainly not perfect but for whatever reason just feels balanced, at least for a moment. That place is wholeness.
What is your wholeness?
For some wholeness is pursuing a life skill, reaching the top of a ladder, leading others to do their best work.
For some wholeness is nurturing the young, making a home, and guiding a family.
For some wholeness is taking a risk, following a dream, bravely stepping into the unknown.
For some wholeness is just accepting the now and hoping for a different future.
For some wholeness is the daily balance and struggle of all of these moments, all of these decisions, all of these wishes.
Wholeness is listening to your heart, knowing it, trusting it, believing in it.
Wholeness is asking for help, admitting you are wrong, and doing your darndest to make it right again.
Wholeness is all of these things because women are all of these things, and more. Only we can define our wholeness. But you have to be given the choice first. You have to know you even have the choice to find this wholeness in your life. You deserve it. And we all owe it to each other to help you get there. This is your right. To find the wholeness, to own it, to choose it, whatever it may be.
This is feminism.
And to quote the future president of the United States of America…
“If (this) is playing the woman card than deal me in.”