What does it mean to be a feminist to the over 50 woman? I grew up in a very misogynistic world where men ruled and women were submissive. We were submissive when men abused us. We were submissive when told education is wasted on women. We were submissive when our husbands ran around with other women. We were submissive when our bosses asked us to sit in their laps and take notes. We were submissive when our husbands hung out in bars rather than being at home with their families.
We were submissive when male coworkers flirted and leered at us. We were submissive when men took home more pay for the same jobs than we did. We were submissive when men yelled at us from construction sites and passing cars. We were submissive when our husbands viewed porn.
We were submissive when our husbands talked to us in embarrassing and degrading ways and even frightened us. We were submissive when we were expected to work all week and cook and clean in our “free” time. We were submissive when we were expected to look sexy and professional at the same time.
We were submissive when professors flirted with us. We were submissive when male coworkers or fellow students brushed by us touching or commenting about our bodies. We were submissive when we were expected to raise the children with little help from our spouses. We were submissive when we were expected to give up our careers, at least temporarily.
I would like to declare, We were the first feminists but we had less power and less influence than those today. We were dealing with newly won territory as women had not long held even the right to vote. We exerted the influence which we could and we raised our daughters with freedoms and insight which we never had.
I, for one, am tired of men of my generation speaking against feminism trying to ridicule this generation of feminists. There are areas which I believe they have gotten it wrong but I admire their courage and unity. Men are not our enemy nor are we their’s. There are good and bad people from each sex.
The point is respect and humanity. I don’t hate men but I hate sexism. It is time we respect people for who they are and their personal accomplishments. It is time for mutual respect.
I don’t want to be a man. I love being a woman and being feminine but I do not want to be treated as less than any man. I want a partner in life, not a Sugar Daddy, not another child, not a man to lord over me. I don’t need a man but I do want one to come along side with me in this adventure of life. I am a woman. I am a mother. I am a friend. I am educated. I am an intellectual. I am tender. I am strong. I am Christian and I am a feminist.