Last summer (again with the throwbacks) I listened to an interview by Caitlin Moran on NPR’s Fresh Air. It was about her new book “How to be a Woman.” It changed my life. I had just tuned in as she was saying this:
“What part of liberation for women is not for you? Is it the freedom to vote? The right not to be owned by the man that you marry? The campaign for equal pay? Vogue by Madonna? Jeans? Did all that stuff just get on your nerves?”
I remember a few days later my friend saying “I’m not all feminist, girl power, rah”, and I was caught of guard because–what’s wrong with wanting equal rights for a woman? Growing up, I had friends say “Guys have it so easy”, “I hate girls”, “It’s just harder to get along with women”, etc. And I probably said the same thing too, when I was younger, but then I grew up, and realized that being a woman is f’ing awesome. I love my girl friends and find them more necessary than any guy friends. What guy friend is going to relate to pregnancy induced raging a stroke? (i.e. flipping out).
So all week long, I’ve been thinking about writing a post on this topic. Truly, every morning, I’ve thought about it and today, Huffington post posted this:
So why am I taking a pregnancy blog and talking about feminism? Simple. What if this baby is a girl? You may recall from earlier entries I decided not to find out the sex of the baby because of people’s comments like “I hope it’s a boy“, and “It better be a boy.” And I brushed it off. Granted, I was still annoyed, but these are comments people make and it is what it is. And then Phil wanting a boy and me coming to the conclusion that I didn’t want to know because I didn’t want him for one second to have an ounce of disappointment if it was a girl and I didn’t want him to have to “come to grips with it”. So those had been my solid points for, 3-4 months. And then I started thinking about those comments, and I thought “Why is it so wrong to have a girl? Why is it looked at like a disappointment if it’s a girl? Why when you are told “it’s a girl!” in the ultrasound room is there a quick second of “bummer” before excitement?” I talked to a co-worker and she said “You know, I never thought about it it, but before I had my son, I did say-if it’s a boy, I’m okay with having one.” My mouth dropped. Then a few weeks later, my friend tells me that she is having a boy, and is so relieved. Not that there is anything wrong with having a girl, but it would be easier. And again, what? (introduce Melissa flipping out internally). Also, all these comments came from women! I get that men want a boy, I GET THAT. But women? Embrace your sisters (read: daughters!).
Do you know that the most successful people I know are women? The most inspirational people I look up to are women. My mother was a single mom for a few years with me. She worked her ass of to make sure I was surrounded by family, friends, and never once felt out of place because my parents are divorced. My grandmother and two aunts are the most bad ass women in St. Louis. They run that town and have inspired so much change in the community and all manage to look phenomenal while doing it. My in-laws–don’t even get me started on how successful they are as women! All while being part of a family and enjoying life. My Aunt-in-law–was so successful, that now she enjoys life by going to Antarctica and Paris and just–LIVING. Tell me how many people you know right now that worked hard enough to just enjoy life? My grandmother worked in real estate until her 80’s because she was that good at her job. Women rule the world. Women make the difference. The people who I feel inspire the most change in the world aren’t men, they are women. Women multitask and they raise families and they have fun. Sure we have hormones, and sometimes we are irrational, but have you ever looked back at fight you had with a man? They are just as irrational.
I know that if I have a daughter she will hate me at 13-18. I know this. I get this. But maybe she won’t. Maybe she’ll be the next president. Maybe she will truly save the whales.
I still don’t know what we are having, and I still truly don’t care. But what I do know is that if I have a girl, she will be the most kick ass, feminist, proud to be a woman girl I know. She will know how to cook, and how to build a headboard. She will be kind and compassionate, but also be able to stand her own ground when she feels like something isn’t fair. She will have friends that are both female and male, and she will cherish her relationship with both. She will play sports and play with dolls. And if she EVER tells me that girls suck, I will slap the shit out of her and remind her that she comes from a strong line of successful, hard working, happy, women.
I’ll leave you with a tweet from Sarah Silverman: “You can’t spell Hero, without Her.”
If you are intrigued about the interview that inspired me you can read the highlights here.
Disclaimer: I also look up to the men in my life too, so don’t feel like you are chopped liver. But this is my “I am woman, hear me roar rant” and I am over people making comments about how women are a good second option.