Are you a Feminist?
That’s what Mark Slemons, podcast host of Leader to Leader, asked me.
And, well, you and I have never really talked about this.
Let’s talk about it.
Sure, you believe in the importance of a woman taking her role as nurturer, leader, and caretaker very seriously.
You also believe you offer tremendous value to the workplace.
Wow. I so get it.
This is a question I wish more people would openly discuss because there is so much to unpack in that simple question.
The choice to fight for equal pay seems clear. Equal work should naturally receive equal pay.
But feminism is much more than that.
Feminist Historical View
“The term ‘feminist’ has always been contentious. This is partly because it connotes militancy and an ‘anti-men’ stance, but also because it has come to be associated with elite groups of women.”
This, right here, is why some women will never even discuss the term feminism.
This HuffPost article puts it best, in my opinion, “Let’s not get stuck on the word feminism — or at least recognize that its paradigm-shifting radiance dims when pitting one woman’s fulfillment against another’s.”
Have a listen. Then I want to hear what your opinion on this. You can hear that episode here.
However, if you are short on time, here’s my basic tenet on this issue.
Feminism is Your Choice
Our mothers had to make different decisions. Today’s world is not like our mother’s generation.
I have friends who love the corporate culture. They thrive facing the challenge of breaking the glass ceiling and come alive to conquer the battles of the office. I completely support them. To hear their battles is an absolute thrill.
Other friends of mine, were married when they were 19 and-an-hour-old. They knew inside they were designed to be a mother and take that role of being the heart of the home, raising children, and supporting their spouse with the intensity of a pro-baller. Except they don’t take an off-season. They light up sharing the precious moments of motherhood, quality relationships with each child, and leadership in their homes they enjoy.
The rest of us fall somewhere in the middle.
We want to work and earn a healthy income to support our lives and loved ones. Yet, we really want to be home and have those precious moments with family and loved ones. Even the family dynamic has changed. The balance chosen by each woman allows her to work and earn as she needs, but give time to other things in her life.
Does that make us “medium-feminists?” Is there a “low-level-feminism?”
Could we put in our order for “half-caff-full-froth-feminism?”
No. That’s not how it works.
It’s freedom to choose.
Today’s feminism includes understanding the issue while doing what’s best for your family at each season in life. My business allows me to work at home, take my child to school, and be there with her in the afternoons.
Our decisions will not be our daughter’s decisions.
For now, this is the right solution for me.
Whether you consider yourself a feminist or no doesn’t matter to me. I value who you are and want to hear what you would add to the conversation.
In the comments, please answer this simple question: Are you a feminist?