Feminism today is different than it was in 1959.
Feminism today feels challenging, and that is still the same.
I am a 55 year-old American woman concerned about feminism today because I work with lots of women around the United States. I am a boomer, a coach, an optimist. The perspective I have today about my feminist ideals of the late 1970s seem to be different from the feminist ideals of 20-year-old women in 2014. Do young women today take for granted their right to be a fully participating member of society who makes decisions without supervision? Have they come into their adulthood at a time when they can coast on the progress made by their elders who engaged in a feminist struggle for decades?
Of course, many people have hoped for this, a time when women are treated as equals because they know themselves to be equals. Is it really true that women should simply expect full rights and remedies without having to fight for it? Or, are young women fooling themselves about their power? I recently read a comment made by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg when she spoke to a law-school audience about important topics for both women and men: the women’s movement, equal pay, medical leave, and access to contraception.
“The male majority on the bench (the Supreme Court), does not really accept the ability of women to decide for themselves what their destiny will be.” Justice Ginsburg
Based on your life experience, as well as on feminism today, how do you feel about this comment? I have always identified myself as a “little Suzy homemaker” because I absolutely love nesting, raising my children, and creating a safe yet invigorating home environment. I am a home-body with a maternal personality, and I am proud of this.
I am also a passionate entrepreneur who loves to work and add value to my community. In 1975 I was awakened to the notion that I should somehow hide the inclination I had to be a traditional homemaker and embrace my community leader and income-producing rights and responsibilities; the feminist freedoms of both choice and leadership that had been fought for and won by my mother’s and grandmother’s generations.
So, in addition to wanting to be a bread-baking, family oriented woman in America, I also believed with great passion that I needed to be a bread-winning, change-making feminist. I had a great urge to stand up with women, for women, and celebrate what I now know is sometimes referred to as the Divine Feminine. Just as I was becoming an adult woman, being a woman in America was expansive and filled with diverse options.
I am very curious about what your experience of being a woman in America has been. I know that not all those who read this little blog are women in America, but should you be one, or know one or love one, I am very curious about your perspective on every women’s ability in 2014 to determine her own destiny.
From where you sit, based on the experiences and choices of your life, do you accept that women not only have the power to decide for themselves how their life should unfold, but they also have the agency to turn their decisions into their reality? Does Justice Ginsberg’s assessment of her male colleagues make you angry? Do you think that powerful people in America and the decisions they make and legislate compromise your rights and the rights of your daughters and granddaughters? Are you involved in the political process?
And what do you think about the decisions you make in your own home to create your destiny: are you empowered and motivated on the home front like you are in the larger world?
I am excited to hear from you and just like I learned to do in 1978, I stand up for you and celebrate all the powerful parts of being a feminist today! To be totally truthful, I am also Pro-Person and believe that our world will heal and thrive when we all rally around one another, including those people who say things that shock us. With the same optimistic enthusiasm I had at 20-years old, I feel strengthened and empowered by the diverse and passionate world we live in and I am honored to be a lover of family who is also a wellness professional who is completely capable of making decisions and determining her destiny. Thumbs up to that!