I've mentioned before that I consider myself a feminist, though I'm often afraid to say it. Not because I think people will assume I'm a "femi-nazi." I mean really, if people want to accuse me of being angry because I want the genders to be equal then they have their own psychological issues to work out. The term "femi-nazi" doesn't scare me in the slightest. I know who I am, I know I am more than capable of having civilized discussions, to the point where if the argument is not civilized it's more than likely not because of me.
No, the reason I don't like saying it is because there always seems to be another feminist out there ready to jump out and tell me all the reasons I'm not a feminist.
For starters, while my career is important and I consider myself ambitious, when I'm honest with myself, in 10 years my family will be the most important thing to me. The people in my life will be the most important aspect of my life. My potential husband, my friends, my parents. I could claim that in 10 years I'll be climbing some sort of corporate ladder, and maybe that will be true, but when push comes to shove it's not going to be my priority.
That doesn't sound particularly anti-feminist to me, though. It doesn't sound like I'm playing in to the patriarchal plan for our society. I mean, I guess maybe I am, I guess a sexist person would say a woman should only think about her family and husband, but I don't think that way because of male forces in my life. I think that way because it's what's important to me and I'm trying to make myself happy.
And honestly, I don't want to end up with a man who prioritizes his career. I want to be with a man who puts as much of an emphasis on family and relationships as I do. That wouldn't make him any less of a man any more than it makes me less of a feminist.
I think the defining emphasis for feminism is choice (and no, dear god, I am not, and will never, get in to the abortion topic here. That is not where this is going. Waaaaay too heavy for me). It does not bother me that there are women out there who don't go to college, don't become engineers, and don't go on to break the glass ceiling. What bothers me is that there are women out there who make that decision without realizing what all their options are. They choose that path because they don't know they don't have to.
I know what I can accomplish. I know full well that if I want to I could probably do a hell of a lot of things. It would be harder for me as a woman because, despite what you may think, there are still lots of people out there who think my sole purpose is as a uterus. There are people who think I don't deserve the same kind of pay as a man due to my mere potential to produce children. There are people out there who really don't think women can be engineers. Despite all those people, I know I could accomplish a lot. I just don't want to make those kinds of accomplishments.
I could look at the big picture and think it's my duty to and force myself to go on and break boundaries with my female peers from RPI. But if that doesn't make me happy, why should I? Didn't I just talk about this in the last post? Growing up is about figuring out what makes me happy, and not forcing myself to be unhappy for other people and outside forces. No matter how important feminism is, my individuality will always be more so.