Feminism comes in many forms. Annoyingly there has been a recent increase in women, particularly B-list celebrities, claiming they aren’t feminists, as though declaring yourself as someone who doesn’t give a crap about their own rights is just another trend to jump on like eating kale or doing SoulCycle. But feminism, like ice cream, comes in many flavors. Choosing to assume a traditional gender roles doesn’t automatically mean you need to identify as an anti-feminist.
Actor Mark Ruffalo, who recently spoke out about the need for more Black Widow merchandise, continued his streak of being devastating handsome and all about gender equality when he recently reblogged Libby Anne’s response to people who say they are not a feminist.
Anne talks about women who fought for the rights we currently enjoy such as the right to vote, divorce and not be considered property. To women who still declare themselves as anti-feminist, she says in part:
In short, you know not what you speak of. You reap the rewards of these women’s sacrifices every day of your life. When you grin with your cutsey sign about how you’re not a feminist, you ignorantly spit on the sacred struggle of the past 200 years. You bite the hand that has fed you freedom, safety, and a voice.
In my house, I do the cooking and most of the cleaning. My husband handles the dishes and takes out the trash. Bills are his responsibility, making sure we don’t run out of topic paper is mine. If I see a spider in the house, I’m not above screaming, “Not It!” and fleeing to the far corner of the room until the invader has been either destroyed or moved behind enemy lines.
But defaulting to these traditional gender roles says nothing about my opinion on feminism. For me the question is a simple one- should men and women be afforded equal opportunities and paid the same for doing the same amount of work? By saying yes, I am a feminist.
As I raise my boys and they see this example laid out before them, it’s important that they know that just because my day to day routine is reminiscent of the 1950s (minus the daily pearls and high heels) it doesn’t mean my mindset is stuck in the past as well. The great thing about the feminist movement is that it allows us to make these choices, to do the things that we want without limits being placed on us because of our gender. I don’t want my children to grow up thinking the example they were raised with is the “correct” way or only way. I want them to grow up knowing their parents were feminists, and hopefully they will be too.