In college, I was the one with the "A woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle" bumper sticker. Not because I thought men were unnecessary, but because I thought the image of a fish riding a bicycle was funny. I didn't believe a woman should need a man. She should be self-reliant and only be with a man because she wants him. As a mother, I tell my son he should never get married because he needs to, but only because he wants to be with someone more than anyone else, because that person brings light and wonder to his world, and he, in turn, is the light of his/her world.
As a feminist, I want my son to face a female competitor as an equal, and not as a girl he has to let win otherwise her self-esteem might be damaged. I shared his frustration when his boys' basketball team was told this weekend that they had to lose the scrimage against the girls' team, not because I felt like he was cheated, but because I felt the girls were cheated out of a fair game. In our house, there's no affirmative action for gender or age. We only let you win if you suck.
As as feminist, I want my son to grow up and do what makes him happy, and I want the world to accept him as he is. I don't want him to be the major breadwinner just because he is the man. I don't want him to shoulder the financial burdens of his household alone. I want him to pick whatever career he wants regardless of whether or not it is a traditionally "feminine" or "masculine" job. I want him to find a partner in life who complements him, the yin to his yang, one who is his equal and a true partner.
As a feminist, I celebrate the strengths and the weaknesses of both sexes and the expansion of opportunities based on who you are and not on your gender.
So, here's my reason for feminism, my son. May his world continue to be expanded as it harnesses what each person has to offer.
|From Colorado 2010|
(And yes, that is a pink scarf he's wearing. As Little Clover correctly stated, "Real men wear pink." Pink is after all, just a color.)