Feminism to me is having freedom of choice as a woman in a society with foundations based upon inequality against women. Freedom of choice means I can go anywhere and do anything my heart desires. It means I can choose any career path and succeed.
I can choose to buy a house. I can choose to be a mother. I can choose to go to school. I can choose to be an entrepreneur. I can choose to remain a single or I can choose to adopt. I can choose to quit my job and spend a year traveling the world. I can choose to love who I want and how I want. I can choose if I want to marry and due to recent law changes that can include either a man or a woman.
My great grandparents came from an era where women were expected to maintain the household while the man went to work. Roles were clearly defined. For example, women would wash the clothes and iron them. Make sure the house was clean and the children were taken care of. Meals were her primary job as well as shopping for the house. Men would work and bring in the money as well as perform yard work, fix things around the house and take care of the automobiles.
In today’s society these are now choices and many times women are seeking partners. Maybe my significant other is the one who cooks and takes care of the kids; maybe I make more money than my partner. Nothing is expected to be a certain way unless this is what you agree upon within your household. Even with that agreement things might change later on.
There are still many barriers that need to be broken such as America having its first woman President. There are many companies that still pay women less than men and it cannot always be proven but there are companies that choose male candidates over female candidates for promotions. I believe these barriers will slowly fall down as more and more women make choices.
I am fully embracing my feminism although sometimes I struggle with it in my mind. Since my grandparents raised me in a southern belle style home I grew up with my grandfather handing all things dealing with the cars, yard, and house. He would gas up our cars, get the oil changed, warm them up on cold mornings, scrape the ice off and make sure everything around the house was fixed and the trash taken out. My grandmother usually had a hot meal and fixed his plate and served him. I do not feel either expected this of one another I think it was a part of their partnership but I notice in my relationships I sometimes struggle with what I think the man should do. But as long as I have been a single I have learned to play all the roles so when I settle I have determined I would like us to simply draw upon each other’s strengths to make a great partnership.
Although we are relied on for many things and have proven how valuable we are to a society, women are still fighting for equality. As women constantly evolve, choices will become more prevalent in our identity and our roles in society. Having the opportunity to be true to ourselves by making the best choices possible for us is such a wonderful freedom.
I am totally free to just be me and that is how I define feminism… By freedom of choice.
Laneise Haulcy-Collier is a Pianist, Flutist, Dancer, Poet, Linguist, Traveler, Yogi, Free-Spirit, her essence is love and compassion. This is her first blog by the way and she was extremely nervous! She was born and raised in Saginaw, Michigan and relocated to Atlanta, GA. She has visited 13 countries and studied 7 languages. Laneise graduated with a BBA in international business and a BA in foreign languages and is pursuing a MBA. These days she spends her time trying to balance her energy and bring everything full circle as she constantly evolves.