Merriam-Webster says feminism is:
1 : the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes
2 : organized activity on behalf of women’s rights and interests
fem·i·nist\ˈfe-mə-nist\ noun or adjective
Society says feminism is:
A group of angry, women, who don’t shave, hate men, reject compliments and held doors, and yell a lot.
The first definition is woefully thin on substance, and the second is woefully wrong.
Such definitions and ideologies leave many women somewhat lost in the in-between. These women know they are more than a theory in practice and not even close to a hairy rage-o-matic.
These women know they want to reach the top at the same speed as men, and be paid in kind. They know they want to walk through life with their head held high knowing they are powerful, without being called ‘bitchy’. They know they want equitable access to healthcare, jobs, wages, and freedom from violence at the hands of men.
They don’t want their bodies ruled by legislation, religious doctrine, or the confines of shameful expectation. They want to be able to be wrong, ill at ease, contradictory, and a poor housekeeper. They want to be saved by the prince and to slay the dragon at his side. They don’t want to be defined by what others say they should do.
Do these things make these women feminists?
If that is what they want to call themselves, then yes. And if they don’t resonate with that word and the picture it paints? Then yes.
Feminism and being a feminist is, at it’s core, the everyday act of defying the expectations and bounds placed on us by others.
You can defy these limitations by staying home or working a corporate job.
You can defy these limitations by getting your hair and nails done weekly, or not at all. You can defy these limitations by wearing heels or Birkenstocks.
You can defy these limitations even if you make your husband a sandwich every.fucking.day. and serve it to him on a silver platter — as long as it is what you want to be doing. As long as it makes you happy.
Feminism is more than a word. It is a way of life. A life lived to serve ourselves and our sisters, so we can walk among our peers, as peers, and show up as our true selves, no matter what that looks like.
If you are ready to embrace your inner rebel, apply today to join me for Rebel School!
It’s Friday, fuck shit up y’all!
Dr. Melissa Bird