The tutu I had to wear for dance class was entirely too scratchy. My overalls were preferred. I got in my first fist fight with a boy when I was 8 and I remember being appalled that he would hit me in the face as a girl. A boy named Brian told me I couldn’t run faster than him because I was a girl and he had Zips. I took in the notion that Geraldine Ferraro was not a strong woman because she cried in public.
A boy named Scott told me because I had a girl sized ball I wasn’t a real basketball player. A boy named Damien walked behind me up the stairs to our 5th hour class and would always pinch my butt under my 90s mini skirt. I debated all too often am I the pretty dumb girl or the smart tough girl. I hear my father telling me not “to worry my little pretty head over that. ” I sat in my Sociology of Women class at Texas A&M and wondered if my professor knew how offensive she sounded spouting about women’s rights.
I felt my chest tighten and my stomach church reading Galatians 3:28 knowing I could not allow my daughter to continue to learn in a church environment that did not see her the way God created her. I re-discovered Katie Hays and began to question if it was ok for me to question and if it was divisive or unity building. I questioned my choice of the 2 inch heels or the 3 inch and what message that would send in this meeting dominated by men. I read about Victoria Woodhull and how she was dismissed as a viable option because she must be off her rocker. I think I would have cut my hair like Amelia Earhart and worn her line of clothing. I overhear my husband’s conference calls and secretly wonder why the women on the call sound so obnoxious. I find myself thinking we have come so far baby so why aren’t we happy with what we have.
But I feel men should open the door for me not because I am not able but because I am worth it. I feel women and children first should be our mantra because there is no civil society without them. I don’t understand how women can conclude that abortion is pro-woman but if they have truly done their homework and they are using their brain I have much more respect for them than most others. I do feel there are jobs women do better than men and I believe there are jobs that men do better than men. I feel men should be given honor and respect but not at the expense of a woman. I don’t understand why they church view women through the 1st century lens.
I believe we shouldn’t fight the DNA of the gender we are born as but that we should examine our socialization of little boys and little girls. I believe there is absolutely no justification of a man abusing a woman in any way such as physically, psychologically, financially or sexually but I believe the same is for a woman towards a man. I believe there is a gender wage, education, and career gap that cannot be ignored any longer. I believe a woman should speak up for themselves and not be labeled a bitch. I believe Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 makes so much more sense being read by a woman. I think women should not be afraid to stand up for other women who have lost their voices to men. I believe respect and dignity should be the expectation and standard of living for both sides.
I cannot fit all these things into one definition. I don’t feel the need to justify my femininity with my equality. I don’t seem to be able to fit all of these beliefs under one heading or context. But I think this is why just last week I realized I am a messy,messy feminist. And that is it is not a cuss word to say so.