I am a Feminist

Yep, and I am proud to say it loud and clear.  In a world right now, where there seems to be so much emphasis on pregnancy and motherhood (both rich parts of the female experience), my life has included other significant and meaningful parts of the female experience such has sexual harassment, infertility, and hysterectomy.  When I embarked on my doctorate, I promised myself that even if I was 4 years into a degree that would take me 5 years to achieve, I would quit if it no longer felt right to me.  One year of my life was too long to spend doing something that no longer was fulfilling.  I never felt that way and went onto complete the degree.  But after years of infertility Loose Diamondtreatments, I decided I had done enough to try to be a parent, and that there was more to my life than parenting.  I needed to say enough is enough; it was a limit that I needed to set.  That limit is obviously different for everyone–some women never consider having children and others won’t quit trying until they become pregnant, and others still parent through adoption, others will try conceiving and/or adoption and decide to stop trying, others become parents only to lose their child, others lose their fertility due to illness, and the list goes on and on.  All of us women.  I am no less a woman without my reproductive organs or because I do not have children.  I am but one of the sparkles of the light that radiate from my gender.

 

9 Comments

  • Valery

    February 5, 2012 at 12:40 pm Reply

    Oh dear, limits and the personal settings. I’m still happy I spent all those years to get my degree, even if other people got their degree and almost their PhD, even if half of those years were not fun at all and made me lose some sense of self.
    I think in europe / the netherlands the pressure to have children is less than in the usa. So for me it’s easy to say that I don’t ‘need’ kids to feel feminine.

    Sigh, you’ve got me pondering about meaningful and sexual harassment and infertility in one sentence.

    • Ruby

      February 5, 2012 at 1:47 pm Reply

      Thanks for your comment Valery! I like how you mentioned how “meaningful,” got to share the same sentence as “sexual harassment” and “infertility.” I was influenced in high school by Viktor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning, and when confronted with adversity such as sexual harassment (I was flunked for not dating a professor), sought meaning by choosing my reaction. For instances, when harassed I co-founded a Women in Science program at our university, that started real discussion between women and men on the topic. I even got to have lunch with Catharine MacKinnon.

  • loribeth

    February 5, 2012 at 1:22 pm Reply

    Also a proud feminist. I always felt, from the time I was old enough to think about it, that I was much more than my ability to reproduce — and I think that belief has helped me enormously in making the transition to a childless/free life. I may not be a mother, but my life has still has meaning and value.

    • Ruby

      February 5, 2012 at 2:03 pm Reply

      And furthermore, you write a dynamo of a blog!

      • loribeth

        February 6, 2012 at 9:29 am Reply

        Well, thank you, so do you! : )

  • Nicole

    February 9, 2012 at 11:09 am Reply

    I have considered myself to be a feminist as long as I’ve known the word. It is the way my mom raised me (although i don’t think she wanted me to embrace it this…haha). But, I agree with you – life is too short to waste on things that aren’t fulfilling or making us happy. AND as you and I both know, there is so much more to life than just parenting or just our careers or just our spouses. We are multi-facets jewels indeed!

    I am glad you were able to identify your limits and stick with them. That’s a sign of a strong and smart lady!

  • Mali

    February 20, 2012 at 9:17 pm Reply

    Yes, I’ve been a feminist since I understood what it was, and in fact way before. As a child, I really resented if my behaviour was restricted because I was a girl. I liked being a girl. I just didn’t want to be told what I could and couldn’t do because I was a girl. So to me it was always about equality of opportunity and individuality and making our own choices, whatever those choices or their outcomes might be.

    I wrote a rather inarticulate series about feminism on http://aseparatelife.wordpress.com (just click on the Feminism category in the Category Cloud on the sidebar).

  • Treo eile

    February 26, 2012 at 2:11 pm Reply

    Another feminist here, who always resented (and still resents!) being categorised. I really like this post – I never equate gender with reproductive organs and cannot understand why so many do. And I really like what you say, that stopping is not giving up. Making the decision to stop, and knowing your limits can be a real sign of stength. And you are one strong woman.

  • olivia

    March 1, 2012 at 4:59 pm Reply

    I strongly identify as a feminist too and I think perhaps like you, I really love being a woman. I’m interested in women’s history, women’s writing, women’s art, women’s lives from a sociological perspective (that’s where my own studies were) etc. I hope lots more views like yours will be expressed and that women-who-are-not-mothers will support each other in creating a very full, meaningful sense of womanhood that is much more inclusive. Thank you for writing about your thoughts on this.

Post a Comment