I’ve been kindly raked over the coals by dear CoR about my recent feminist/feminazi post. Amazingly enough, I really enjoyed the raking (no really, I did!!!), because it made me think about a lot of things in a very different way. And I always like it when somebody makes me think outside my own little box. This is why I blog, after all. To interact with people in an open and honest way that may not always be available out in the real world. It’s good to get a nice swift kick in the ass from time to time – especially from those you respect.
I’ve always worried about what other people think (my family, my friends, my teachers) waaaaay more than I should. And now that I’ve decided I’m willing to accept the “feminist” label, I’m worrying about what other women may think of me. Now that I’ve decided that I want to pursue academia, I’m worrying about what my mentors and colleagues think of me.
Even worse, I want to prove wrong my friends and family – who think that female academics are pretentious penis-hating “feminazis” (excluding my awesome Hubby and parents). I’ve put myself in the position of representing feminism (and liberalism, and academia) to a group of people that may never really understand what they’re all about. As a result, I’m doing a poor job of representing feminism at all. Because I care about these people so much, though, I have a hard time with the fact that I’ve grown so far apart from them.
I need to remind myself that I take away my own freedom to choose when I put other people’s expectations above my own. I need to remember that I’m not responsible for what other people think. I need to think about what feminist really means to me – and not define it for others, but for myself.
Above all, I need to focus on what I know really matters – God, my son, my Hubby, and my parents. And my own happiness. At the cost of being a little bit selfish, I need to focus on this last one perhaps above all else.