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A wise woman’s teachings, a PhD student & Me the feminist!

Well, the other week I was reading an article called ” Yes, I am a feminist.  Why arnt you? on Mammamia, all about feminism, and how females today do not really relate to being a feminist, especially younger females.

I read the article and really disagreed with it  & thought I am no feminist.  I then thought of all the reasons why I was not feminist and thoughts of women burning their bras’, strike like actions, some out there things – not that’s not me I thought.  I then thought is feminism a thing of the past??

Definition of Feminism – One persons perspective anyway (thanks the genderblog)

All this changed after 2 conversations and something I saw on TV.

The other day, I was telling my Mum of some changes that I want to make in my life, and a lesson that I had learnt from that.  The lesson that I had learnt, I was telling her was that I was putting all the responsibility of this change onto my husband, and making him responsible.  To that my Mum argued, “Lucia, he has to look after you..but Mum” I said.  I was telling her the lesson I had learnt was that I need to be responsible for the changes that I was making, and not make my husband responsible.  To that she positively responded… “its great that you are independent Lucia…”  I changed the conversation after that.  I did not think about it again… until..

A few days later, I was talking to a International PhD student, who was from Pakistan.  He was telling me about women in his country and how they are married off when they are 16, so their parents do not have to look after any more, and they are looked after by their husbands.  He continued to tell me how these young women, who were now more aware of opportunities for women, were rebelling and not getting married, only to get educations and change their lives.

I was then watching a reality TV show, the Housewives of the OC.   One of the HW, Alexis, went to her husband to ask him if she could take some acting lessons, and he commented that he did not like the idea, because it was her job to look after him and “his” children, and  these extra lessons would take her away from that.  I could see how deflated she was after he told her this… I was so sad for her.

Alexis & her husband – HW of OC (Image care of TV Guide.com)

All these 3 things got me thinking about being a feminist and what it is to be a women.  I could see how far we have come, but still saw how far  women have to go in having the CHOICE to do what they like to do.

You know, I can see the conflict in my Mum’s conversation, one minute she is all about being looked after by someone, and the other minute she is about being independent.  Even though, she had this conflict in her mind, somehow she pathed the way for change with her daughters.  She taught her girls about the opportunities women can have.  She strongly impressed in us the ability to be independent and rely on ourselves in many situations.  She showed us a world, where we now had the choice to be what we wanted rather than what society expected women to be.  She was the feminist who showed us how we can be as women.

I was walking home from the gym the other night, thinking of what she taught us, and I was in tears.  I never realised the impact of what Mum taught us had on my life.  It was truely a-mah-zing.  I only hope that what I teach my girls has such an impact on their lives.

I was only speaking with my Mum this morning, and chatting to her about this exact topic, and asked her what made her teach us about being independent.  She explained that it was her Mum (my Nonna Lucia – whom I am named after) taught her this, after she had to work while our Nonno was not well enough to work.  She did what she had to do to keep her family going, and in turn this changed the women in our family forever.  WOW.  I am so proud of Nonna, and what she has passed down to the generation of women.  She was a feminist in so many ways.  Doing what she had to do, and not worrying about what society said about what women should be doing! In her times, it would have taken lots of courage to do so!

So, after these conversations  I have to say that I am a feminist.   While it still feels a little weird to call my self a feminist, I am one, in my own way.   You know, without all that women who came before us and fought for women’s rights to be considered equal,  I would still be considered, well I am unsure what the word is, as I do not want to offend anyone out there, but I think I have to say “inferior”

Today, as a woman I have the CHOICE to be what I want.  I think that all that feminist stuff that occurred a long time ago, really comes down to giving women the CHOICE of doing what they want to do, rather than being told what you will do.  That’s my definition of feminism – having the choice!

So, what are your thoughts about feminism?  What does feminism mean to you?  Are you a feminist?  What impact has your Mum had on who you as a women?  Is feminism something of the past.

Til next time