Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Proud


I really find aliens boring. I am not as intrigued about whether or not intelligent life exists outside our planet as maybe I should be. If it does exist, finds Earth, and studies us, I have to believe those little green dudes will come to a conclusion: being a woman is lame.

Take today, for instance. Today I entered into multiple conversations about what it is like to be a woman.  It began with talking about how a certain 30 year old law student was quick to strip the title of mother from a woman considering abortion in an interview. This topic leads me to start thinking about how mainstream feminism seeks to strip away titles like “mother”.  We are told to “vote like our lady parts depend on it”. We are told it is inhumane to be pro life because it is inconsiderate for those that have endured rape or incest. We are subject to terms such as “real rape”.  We are the target demographic for sexual assault, rape and domestic violence. Often, our perpetrators are judged for these criminal actions by our actions: What was she wearing? Where was she? Did she fight back? Why does she stay? Does she like it?

We are held to the highest standard when it comes to how we raise our children, our appearance and our goals in life. A man that takes his responsibilities as a parent seriously is saint worthy, while a woman that runs to the store without putting shoes on her child is a poor example of a mother. A woman that chooses to stay at home with her children is spitting on the progress of the women’s movement and she is unmotivated to boot, while a mother that works outside of the home loves herself more than her children. Women grow human beings for over nine months and push babies out of their bodies. They have the ability to feed these babies with milk from their own bodies, yet a woman’s appearance is scrutinized for any perceivable flaw: too fat, too skinny, too pear-shaped, too dark, too hairy, too short, too tall, hair not straight or curly enough, too much makeup, too little makeup…

It truly is categorically unfair. All of it. It is unfair that we are preyed upon both literally and figuratively. It is unfair the amount of pressure we put on each other as women instead of supporting one another, and let’s just be real. It is really unfair that we birth our children and then also have to deal with the weird things that it does to our body in this appearance-focused world.

I have news for those little green dudes. Despite the judgment and the hostility, I feel truly blessed to be a woman.

I was created the ravishing creature that I am: I earned my graduate and undergraduate degrees. I married my best friend. I birthed and nursed my children. I have an important voice in this world, and I embrace my God-given talents that help me to speak up. Many of the privileges I enjoy in this nation were fought for by other women: wives and mothers, sisters and daughters. I am grateful to these women for fighting for my right to work, and to vote. I am joining these women in refusing to choose between children and women. I am standing up for my rights as a Catholic woman. I am a voice for those that have and have not survived abuse.

It is truly a phenomenal time to be a woman. We have some progress behind us, but the fight is not over. This means our generation is in the position of gratitude and knowing: gratitude for the sacrifices made for us, and knowing we are a part of something incredible if we want it.

Sometimes all of the depressing truths bring us down. Our wills are broken, and we feel hopeless. Remember what our bodies and minds are capable of accomplishing. This fight is ours to win, and I am proud to be a woman.

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