Time for positive feminism?

Progress on Mum & Career slowed down a bit when I was out and about with my son in the Easter holidays. Not so easy to accept as I am full of energy to move it forward. The good thing is, that I got around to reading a bit more in Reclaiming the F word, which is a great summary of all the ways in which women are still not equal to men. It argues feminism isn’t done yet and is alive and kicking in the younger generation. I couldn’t agree more as I have always felt a bit of a feminist, at age 5 already noticing how the world just wasn’t the same for girls as it was for boys. The book is good, as it is an easy read and full of good examples.

I noticed, though, that at first the book made me angry and frustrated. Angry with society and angry with men for doing this to us, women. Frustrated as it revives my own past frustration at perhaps not getting the same chances and opportunities as men. ‘It’s just not fair!’ My poor husband was suffering, as – for a short while – he became the target of that anger and frustration. Yes, sorry, I am human after all.

Next, when reading the ‘equality at work and home’ section, the book made me a bit uneasy about myself. I am married, have a child and to my own surprise have ended up being a WAHM (work at home mum), whereas my husband is the main income provider. To make matters worse I also gave up my job and followed my husband abroad. Very traditional, and we aren’t exactly sharing the tasks and responsibilities of income provision, parenting and housework equally. Not what I had expected after succeeding at a tough uni degree and starting my career in a male dominated business environment.

Strangely enough though I was actually quite happy with my life just yesterday. How come the book makes me angry and uneasy, I wondered.

I think it might have something to do with the way women are somehow made into victims. Almost like society (or men) are doing this to us. This view isn’t very empowering for me. It is a call for action and does urge me into action. But it isn’t about feeling good about myself, believing in myself and my own strenghts. Instead it is somehow saying to me: this is what mens life is like, and your life should be like that too!

I do agree, yes there’s still a lot to fight for and I admire all women fighting for rights of other women, and against oppression of women. Please don’t stop.

For myself however I am dreaming of a more positive and empowering form of feminism. One where women are made to feel special and believe in their own unique strengths. A feminism that helps me value my own choices and priorities. One that makes me feel strong and proud to be a woman.

Anyone else out there who longs for a positive form of feminism?


About Inge Woudstra

Founder of Mum & Career - Resources for life choices We offer free inspiration, support and information from women for women. We enjoy helping women to find a way of working and parenting that works for them.
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