I don’t know if you’ve heard, but there is an article by a woman named Amy Glass making major rounds on the Internets.
In said article, Amy says that marriage and motherhood are “super easy tasks” and that by settling for such “average” lives, we are, in fact, the OPPOSITE of feminists.
Obviously, there is a lot of anger directed at Amy. A great deal of bloggers and blog readers are moms or wives, whether we work outside the home or not, so we immediately find ourselves wanting to justify what we do and why it’s worthy of approval. But honestly…I doubt Amy cares. I’m sure she saw this coming WAY before she ever hit “publish”.
However — it made me thoughtful. I’ve always considered myself a feminist, and hope that my daughter considers herself as one as well. But will she see me that way? What does being a feminist REALLY mean?
And here’s the thing. I decided that Amy Glass is not a feminist.
I agree that anyone can GET married, and some people are lucky enough to easily reproduce. But I think the divorce rate in America might disagree with how simple marriage is.
Marriage is hard. Marriage is humbling. Marriage is being accountable to God and to another human being. Forever.
It takes a strong person to stand before God and pledge eternity to another person. I mean, I hesitate when I find out the movie I’m heading into is three hours long. What if I get hungry? What if I have to pee at the good part? Will I be too tired? All the sitting!!
Know what else takes a strong person? Knowing that although you love someone, you cannot in good conscience pledge your life to them. Stepping away and being alone even though it would be easier to say yes.
Being a feminist is not about being single or married. It’s not about having no kids or twenty kids. It’s about knowing who you are and being at peace with your choices. It’s a quiet confidence that doesn’t need to scream and has nothing to prove, except to oneself.
I will be the first to admit that on the outside, my work at home does not look very empowering. But there is something noble in the humbleness of serving others all day –in minor tasks like laundry and lunches, diaper changes and dinners — that reminds me how strong I am.
I don’t need the outside world to tell me what a great job I’m doing. I don’t need to cross climbing a mountain off my list. Because I know that there is so much beauty in what I do. Through every insignificant, thankless chore , I am weaving a tapestry of memories for children that will too quickly be adults. With every smiley face note in a lunchbox, every dinner I slave over, and every sock I pair, I am shaping a life. I am playing a part in their future morals, their choice of spouse, how they raise their children (or don’t), providing childhood stories both humorous and horrifying (ha!), and raising servants of the Lord.
It’s not every woman who can operate on a human heart, hike through the rainforest, or serve in Congress. But I have had my own mountain top moments.
I’ve watched two babies take their first breaths and loved them when they were most unloveable. I have been humbled in public by the tantrums of a toddler. I have leaked breast milk, been pooped on, and scrubbed vomit out of the carpet. But MY inner feminist doesn’t need the outside world to think I’ve got it figured out. My inner feminist doesn’t need you to applaud my accomplishments. How strong I am isn’t based on whom I vote for, how bossy I am to my husband, or whether or not I put my family first.
I have found my strength in knowing I am strong enough to NOT ALWAYS NEED TO COME FIRST.
So Amy Glass, that’s cool that you think I’m pathetic. I wear cliché yoga pants, buy groceries at Walmart once a week, and have dinner hot and ready when my husband gets home from work. But the only approval I need is my own. Because that is what a feminist really is.