Despite being a debate teacher and having a strong opinion in most matters, I have never really been an activist. I’ve always thought I didn’t need legislation to make me equal,
I would prove myself.
I would throw it in their face and not only show how it was possible, but I would take it to a whole new level… pouring my heart and soul into proving I am worthy beyond any rule or law that would force you to see me eye to eye.
The older I get, the more I see the gap between theory and practice.
I read a crazy article about how an overwhelming number of men wanted their little girls to grow up to be strong, independent women (one of which I have the privilege of giving birth to), but only a small percentage of those same men wanted to be married to ‘a girl like that’.
The article really struck a nerve.
We can legislate opportunity but we cannot legislate respect or appreciation. As a community, we can campaign for equal pay, paid maternity leave and the destruction of the glass ceiling, but in our homes we struggle with the reality of traditional roles and biological limitations.
I am by no means saying there are no progressive families out there, who challenge the way the family unit functions and are able to overcome the restraints of breastfeeding, but I am saying that
despite the level of education,
despite the exposure to diverse cultural views and experiences,
despite being open to liberal/social values
…traditional values are dug deep into the infrastructure of our lives and take a front and center seat
when push comes to shove,
like a default button.
I feel society wants women to succeed. They want us to be president. Society wants to see us put our children first and be CEO of Google at the same time. But because my job, as a mother, never stops…
I am in constant limbo between what defines me as a mother and whether or not I can selfishly put my primal responsibilities to the side to discover myself, by chasing a dream, carving a path that will satisfy my self worth… Independently.
Perhaps these two things are not mutually exclusive. Part-time disassociation is not a realistic approach.
The specific challenge we face is different for all of us… but the struggle is the same.
I believe we need a legislative social movement for change, on the steps of Washington.
But I believe there is another avenue where every little girl can be reached, no matter what her dream may be. There are greater opportunities to influence young men, beyond rules and regulations dictating their expectations and standards… it begins with me and grow with ‘us’.
I AM an ACTIVIST.
My social movement begins in my home.
Molding the minds and hearts of my two boys and my daughter as a role model and
teaming with my husband to reinforce mutual respect.
Preaching the value of women,
modeling appreciation in a loving relationship,
PROVING the strength and potential
in every human being.