Ben had fallen asleep on the floor, and as I stood to pick him up and carry him to bed. Mike, who had been sitting on the couch with me, offered to pick Ben up instead. When I declined his offer he didn’t fuss.
This is ideal to me. I have never resonated with the word “feminist” I don’t know if it’s because it evokes images of bra burning and sensible shoes (an entirely outdated image, which belies my age), or what, but the term isn’t something I have embraced.
But when I threw bags of dog food over my shoulder to carry downstairs while wearing a dress, I wondered if this is what women fought for.
I am an eclectic blend of feminine and tough, I want to be pretty and strong. I want to wear dresses and lift weights.
I don’t know if this is what Gloria Steinem envisioned when she and her friends set out on their quest for equality, but I can honor everything that defines femininity while being a total badass, and I love it. I don’t know if I even realized what I was doing working as a paramedic into my ninth month of my first pregnancy, doing all my own lifting and never batting an eye at it during my first pregnancy, then chosing an alternate role at work during my second pregnancy, which took a much larger toll on my energy stores. Having the ability to decide for myself how to manage work and pregnancy, and managing the balance two different ways is the beauty of the modern era. I can’t imagine life without those options.
I wonder why I recoil at the word feminist while reaping the benefits of what the vigilant Baby Boomer women fought for, it seems awfully silly. At the end of the day, when I have the freedom to be the strong and ladylike person that I am, I know that it’s I’m riding the wave the bra burners made while wearing their sensible shoes, and I am ever so thankful for it.