In my entire 50+ years I’ve never considered myself a feminist. When I was a child/teenager I thought being a feminist meant you hated men. I was boy crazy since I could walk but I admit since adulthood I have threatened to start my own “I Hate Men” club and t-shirt company and then remember I don’t hate all men and have never been tempted to swing for the other team.
When Mary Tyler Moore died this year it made me more aware of who my role models were when I was a child. The ones that I loved and could not wait to see on TV, that represented strong, funny independent women. My very favorites were Mary Tyler Moore, “That Girl” (Marlo Thomas) and Carol Burnette.
Some of my favorite songs of the 70’s were by Helen Reddy, “I Am Woman”, Carly Simon, “You’re So Vain”, Linda Ronstadt “You’re No Good”. Music artists in the 80’s that were favorites were Patty Smyth, “The Warrior”, Annie Lennox with the Eurythmics, “Would I Lie To You”, Pat Benatar, “Treat Me Right”.
Some of my favorite movies, “Erin Brockovich” (Julia Roberts), “Enough” (Jennifer Lopez) and “Double Jeopardy” (Ashley Judd).
This is the definition of feminism found in Merriam-Webster Dictionary;
1: the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes
2: organized activity on behalf of women’s rights and interests
I most definitely am not politically motivated to have more rights as a woman and therefore, not a feminist. But I am woman, hear me ROAR.
In my search to find a better definition of myself than feminist, I found words that would come closer to describing me. Those would include but are not limited to;
My favorites are “mighty” and “influential”. Now we’re getting somewhere. I don’t need to be part of some political movement or wear a t-shirt and have a bumper sticker to define me.
The things I feel strongly about when it comes to being a woman is being respected as an individual and not an object. Aretha said/sang it best and she even spelled it out for you, “R.E.S.P.E.C.T”. Sounds simple but look around and see how many women are objectified, even in today’s society.
I’m strong, assertive, decisive, purposeful, unwavering, mighty and influential for many reasons. I won’t beg for respect, I’ll require it. This is who I am and it’s time to own it.