I’m not a feminist – or at least I don’t define myself as such – and I don’t know much about feminist theories or even the history of feminism. That doesn’t mean I don’t have some thoughts on the matter, though, and inspired by this and this post by AlreadyPretty and VulgarMoon respectively, I’d like to share them with you.
It seems to me that at times, people who define themselves as feminist declare that one thing or another is not done if you’re feminist. That by wearing high heels or dresses you conform to the expectations of the patriarchy. That by choosing to have a family over having a career, you become anti-feminist.
As I said above, I don’t know much about feminist theories or the history of feminism, but it seems to be that feminism should not be about exchanging one set of values with another. Those people preaching that only one thing is feminist and another is not are, in my opinion, doing the exact same thing that men/society/the patriarchy did to women for the longest time – imposing pre-set values on them. In my opinion, feminism is – or should be – about having a choice.
Should a woman who wants to have a family and stay at home not be allowed to do so without hearing discriminations that she is betraying feminism? Should a woman who prefers her career over starting a family not be free to do so? Why should a woman who likes wearing high heels not do so, and why should a woman who hates high heels be forced to wear them? Shouldn’t we all be free to make the choices we want, regardless of what they are?
Saying that women should choose their career over a family takes away the choice from the woman in much the same way saying that all women belong in the kitchen does. I cannot believe that should be the point. It should be about giving women choices, not about telling them which choices to make.