I think the number one thing that I've learned this semester from all my Women's Studies classes is that I've taken my position in society for granted.
My parents have always viewed me as equal to my brothers. I've never been denied anything simply because I was a girl; be it education or a job. And I've always personally felt that the position of women is respected in my religion.
But it wasn't until recently that I learned that this hasn't been the case for all women. And I don't mean in the past. But currently, as in right now, these days, in the United States, women face serious discrimination because of their gender. The "plight" of women isn't some far removed problem in the Middle East or Africa. It's here. It's right now.
And I just didn't know.
Now that I do know, the more pressing issue is what am I going to do about it? The word feminist has so many negative connotations that I'm not sure I want to associate myself with it. But what if that's what I am?
i'll never have children
I think I'm the type of feminist that just wants equality, for both sexes. I want women to be valued, but I also want the same for men.
Last week, I was listening to a radio talk show highlighting the life of the Hollands. They talked about living through the 60's at Yale. They knew about Betty Friedan and The Feminine Mystique. They knew about it all because they lived through it all. And I really loved what they had to say about women in general. Unfortunately there's no transcript of the show, but basically they said that what Betty Friedan sought for was noble, she just asked the wrong questions to get there. Instead of asking "How can we get women out of the home?" people should have been asking "How can we get men more involved in the home?" And most importantly, "What about the children?"
And then the most interesting thing I learned: "if the adversary wants to destroy society, then his first and strongest attack will be against women"
Of course that makes sense. Destroy a women's sense of self-value, and the family suffers. It's all connected.
Knowing all these things, what can I do differently? How can I be an advocate for women who haven't had the voice I've had?
I still need some time to think about it. But this is my start.