Years ago, when I was barely 17 years old, I trained to become a whitewater raft guide. I was the youngest person at the company because you can’t start guiding until you are 18 but I wanted to spend the summer on the river.
There were many strong and independent women who worked there. One particular woman, a divorcee of 23 or 24, made an impression on me. She was so fierce and confident and womenly and worldly.
One day she off-handedly said to me, after accepting an offer from one of our 19 year-old male co-workers to carry a particularly heavy cooler, “I’m a feminist except when it’s in my best interest not to be”.
Almost 14 years later and this quote still regularly resurfaces in my mind.
Over the long course of my relationship with my now-husband certain roles have emerged in our household. Super-stereo-typical roles. I do most of the cooking and house keeping. He does most of the work involving the car, the roof, heavy lifting, or major power tools.
I’m okay with this.
In fact, it’s how I like it.
I don’t feel any less empowered as a human because anything involving technology makes my eyes glaze over. I am confident in my ability to problem solve and if left to my own devices, I could get whatever needs done, done. But Tate actually enjoys that stuff and we’ve found a happy division of labor that makes sense to us.
I am a feminist. I’m also a happy homemaker. Creating a comfortable and healthy home for my family is high on my list of priorities and fills me with satisfaction.
The feminist movement was vital in allowing me this satisfaction and choice. I am absolutely a product of my generation and am painfully aware that had my husband and I been born even a decade earlier we may have fought these traditional roles tooth and nail so as not to perpetuate the inequality that is still an issue in America.
I will forever be grateful to my tractor-driving mother and my gentle father, who is the biggest feminist I know. They both demonstrated traditional and non-traditional roles as parents while remaining nurturing and open-minded.
Tate, making me the cold frame I requested for seedlings. We went over the design together then he did the work.
Make no mistake about, I am horrified at the inequality between men and women that is still part of every day life in America. The government is still one huge ass good ‘ol boys club trying to keep their hands in women’s reproductive rights, among many other things that is not their business.
I am a feminist and it’s always in my best interest to be one.