Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Real World Wednesday


Feminism has gotten something of a bad rap in the past...oh...forty years. It's come to be known as man-hating. Its proponents are stereotyped as unattractive, rude, mean and an array of other unpleasant words.

A friend once got me saying, "I don't mean to sound like a feminist," and she stopped me. She would have hit me over the head, but we were having a conversation via telephone. My head hurt all the same.

"Feminism isn't a bad thing," my friend told me,"It's just gotten twisted in the last several years."

She had a point, and since that conversation, I've made it a point to use "feminist" whenever I can, to claim my identity as one, and then, if necessary, to explain what that actually means.

To me, being a feminist means advocating for the life choices women might make. If a woman wants she to be a stay at home mother, and her husband can support that choice, why should working women degrade it? If a woman wants a career, as well as a family, who's to say that's the wrong choice? And women who don't want children at all? Well, that should not be looked upon so oddly as it is.

I am a feminist because I believe women and children have rights that are often ignored. I am a feminist, because I belive women deserve more.

Women's History Month is in March, and I'm sure bloggers everywhere will do something in honor of this special month, perhaps something similar to last year's Inspirational Women. Recent events, though, make it imperative that we all understand feminism before the appointed month to honor women.

On December 27, 2007, Benazir Bhutto, the former Prime Minister of Pakistan was assasinated. Her murderers were so intent on ending her life that they killed at least another twenty people in commission of the murder. A few months before the final attack, 130 people were killed in another attempt on her life. I can't profess to know anything about Pakistani politics, so I won't touch on the issues that some might think led to Ms. Bhutto's death. I can say, though, that she spoke out against selective abortion, in which a woman, fearing the birth of a daughter, will obtain an abortion, rather than present her husband with a female child.

What is so wrong with being born female?

So, we mourn the passing of Ms. Bhutto, if only because she spoke out in support of a woman's right to be born.

For more information:
  • Benazir Bhutto's Obituary

  • Selective Abortion

  • The History of Feminism

  • National Women's History Project
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