I am struck by how unwilling people are to identify with feminism. The other day I posted this video to my Facebook timeline stating, “For me, 2:55 says it all. If you don’t “get” feminism, watch this, and lose your misconceptions.” I was surprised at how many of my Facebook friends said, in effect, “I don’t get it.” Some blamed the girl’s family. Others said that it’s just common sense that women can do anything men can do (I pointed out that it wasn’t common sense 100 years ago). Many were reluctant to cast blame on “the system.”
I could go on and give examples of ways the system seems obviously tilted in a male direction, but it occurs to me that, were I to do that, I would be talking more about women than letting women speak for themselves. So I simply want to ask a question of all the female readers out there. When you look at this video, can you relate?
3 thoughts on “Women, Can You Relate?”
Yes, I can absolutely relate. I remember when I was a little girl and my mother would serve one steak at dinner. My dad would get half, and she'd divide the other half into three pieces for me, my brother, and her. Not that my dad asked her to do that. It was just "what women do." They sacrifice. They give up. They make themselves smaller in so many ways.
As a woman who has spent more time being unhappy with her weight than happy with her weight, the idea of the physically shrinking woman resonates. Our culture tells us that an overweight man is always better looking than an overweight woman. It's much more acceptable to be male and overweight than to be female and overweight. Look at movie stars: far more overweight men than overweight women. Sadly, I worry that I am not proportional to my husband. Though we both have gained a little weight over the years, he still is a normal size, while I feel like I am chubby. I shouldn't worry about that. All that matters is we love each other. He loves me. I know that. But still, I worry about it.
"Inheritance is accidental…" In some ways I think the society as it is, that patriarchal mindset, counts on this being true. I think that when we do start to fill the space around us we get labeled still, "pushy" "man like" "ball buster" "dike." To be anything other than shrinking means that we have become less like feminine. Maybe that is why so many of us find it hard to embrace the term "feminist." It seems to push against the notions of what it means to be a woman.
I contend that my generation of women struggle with identity more than perhaps my mother's generation and hopefully more than that of my daughter. I'm grateful to know that this young poet has a bead on this! Gives me a great deal of hope for future generations of women.
I can definitely relate. And I'm sure thousands of other women can, too. We either do as this young woman so beautifully writes, we make ourselves small, or, in my case, we fail trying to do that and we end up being "too loud" or "too large" … metaphorically and physically.