I like you feminism, I really do. But there’s this nagging little issue I have with you and tonight seemed like a good time to bring it up.
I’m very pleased that millions of women around the world have political and economical equality because of you, I really am. But I’m a fraction frustrated that traditional feminine qualities continue to be undermined in the name of feminism. It strikes me as rather foolish. “Don’t cut off your nose to spite your face” my mother would say.
I see nods to J. Howard Miller’s wartime propaganda poster from celebrities who like to promote the feminist ideal. But I don’t want to tie my hair back, develop muscles and dress like a mechanic to prove “I can do it”. I might want to wear a frock, a pair of heels and maybe some nail polish whilst I’m being equal to the men.
It strikes me that a little more confidence in traditional feminine traits might go a long way to help empower us women. Because at the moment, the vast amount of messages coming from your direction suggest I need to acquire a selection of masculine qualities to get what I want. And that’s not how I want to win equality. I want femininity to be valued. I want my soft skin, my vulnerability and my tendency to sob when I’m sad to be valued as highly as rational thinking and physical strength.
In achieving equality I want us to be able to celebrate the differences between male and female. I want to see compassion, expression, sensitivity and tolerance valued as highly as those traits normally associated with masculinity. I don’t want the feminist ideal to undermine my innate qualities as a woman. I don’t want to have to have muscles to prove my power. I don’t want to have to wear bitch heels or flaunt my sexual power to prove my worth. As long as we continue to do that, we undermine our femininity and will never win the battle for equality.
So Feminism. I was wondering if you could do me a favour, since this fourth-wave now seems to be well underway? I was wondering if you could just ditch the idea of equality being about us becoming more “masculine”, about us developing masculine traits to be taken seriously? Because quite frankly I love pink and I like that my husband occasionally wants to open the door for me and yes I can be assertive, even aggressive at times, but my femininity is my strength and my power and to deny me that is to render me worthless.
And by the way, our bodies were built to make children in them. As long as that remains the case we have all the strength that we will ever need.