Whenever I was really a little girl I thought about being a doctor, a ballerina, an astronaut, a nun, but first and foremost a feminist. My idol was Jessie Spano; I would tell my uncle I thought about being an experienced baseball player only to piss him off.
As I got older, I learned about Gloria Steinem, read Virginia Woolf, heard Sleater-Kinney and didn’t be concerned about boys’ opinions. I kept my hair short and my opinions loud. I had this, fuck all attitude to everyone. I really spent the time to discover myself - my likes and dislikes and wasn’t afraid to maintain an open mind for the idea my opinions and ideals would change with age and new experiences.
Then I fell in love… and yes it was perfect, it turned out amazing, it had been one million feelings wrapped up in a person and i also got all gooey and dependent upon some other person for my happiness. I hung through the telephone, texts and telephone calls made or broke my day and once we finally had our last break-up fight I found myself left like this little huddled puddle of your individual.
Crying about the carpet, my girlfriends drowned me in wine and relatable split up stories. I didn’t even notice it, but something within me broke. I began to consider this very warped view of feminism and so i began to think women should be a man’s backbone. It made no sense in any way. The boy who broke my heart was very supportive of my independence and hated whenever i did little feminine things, like placed on makeup or made an effort to dress up. I think in many ways it was actually my terribly pathetic method of rebelling up against the man who broke my heart.
I kind of begun to roll my eyes at women’s rights activists, like, “come on we’ve managed to make it this far right? Let sleeping dogs lie.” I proceeded dates using a man who told me to help keep my hair long because girls with short hair looked like “dykes.” I went on dates with another man who ordered my steak for me, always medium, always a filet. I muffled the girl inside who before might have insisted in the bloody rare rib eye. I let men pull off too much aggressive flirting on the bar I worked at, when previously I might have told those to fuck off.
Then I found out I used to be pregnant. I felt weak and sort of alone at first, knowing I found myself doing it on my own. My son’s father simply wasn’t ready to become father, and that is certainly fine. Yet here I used to be taking up this empowering strong stance of, “I am achieving this alone but I will get it done right” yet I still felt such as a little scared girl inside a man’s world.
I’m sad to mention it took me until I discovered I found myself having a boy to start to snap out of it and realize I used to be to blame for raising a guy. Would he be the level of man who ordered a woman’s steak or allow her to choose her very own? Would he become a man who supported women in every possible way and realized equal rights certainly are a very relevant topic or someone who thought a girl experienced a place with the cooking. Would he become a man who considered that because we vote now we have enough? Or did I wish to raise a man who told women their bodies, their decisions, their opinions in addition to their ideas were just as vital as everyone else’s? Above all, did I would like to raise men who thought along with his heart instead of his testosterone levels? For me strength happens to be to begin with a question of the center and that i wanted this little boy, who will one day become a man, to offer the kind of compassion that might allow him the understanding for all coming from all parts of society.