I’ve been rolling around ideals about my identity for some time now. Struggling with my decision to stay at home. Struggling with the images I put in my daughter’s head. Struggling with a place for a strong, empowered woman in a traditional home context. I’m educated, I’m strong, I’m willful. I’m also a woman who cries, gets irrational and stays home to clean the house and care for her children.
I no longer think these things are mutually exclusive.
I’ve recently started reading The Red Tent and find the role of women almost empowering. The community of females working together to care for the families; The work, actual hard labor, it requires to be in this role of caregiver: That alone is empowering.
But to find a group of women, online and in person, who share your views, help raise your children, walk through life with you: that is where empowerment becomes confidence. And while I appreciate, and admire, and respect and live up to, the role of being a strong woman, that does not include being a woman for woman’s sake or working in a job because “it is my right”. It’s also my right to choose to stay home, to care for my family and to be a woman.
Did you hear that? I’m ok with being a WOMAN. I’m ok with being a GIRL. I’m ok with having boobs and hormones and PMS. I’m ok with makeup and wine and shaving my legs. And I love that I’m a woman and that means I am not a man and I’m more emotional, hormonal, and social. I love that I care about hair and makeup. I’m ok with that. Being a feminist does not mean I have to be equal to a man in every way, but rather as a New Feminist, a feminist of the 2000’s. It means I am strong, confident and capable with being a woman: A life-giving, home-making, emotional-at-times woman.
And that’s what I want to pass on to my daughter, who will enjoy not only equality but strength in who she is: a woman.