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Feminist Should be Fighting For More than Equality
February 23, 2016
I want to be a feminist, I really do. I want to work toward equality; breaking the imaginary ceiling that holds so many of us back. I want to be a part of the movement. Yet, many feminist aren't fighting for "female" causes.

We are fighting for equality, when in all honestly, we deserve MORE than equality.

As women, we experience things that men don't. This is a biological fact. Yet, we are often punished for being women. Here is an example of how this plays out. Most women in their childbearing years will have a menstrual cycle every month. And for most of us, it is a very unpleasant time. Instead of a system that understands this fact, you hear rhetoric such as "Oh, it's that time of the month," or "Why are you tripping." And one of my faves, "See this is why women can't be leaders - too much drama."

So the feminists - again fighting the good fight for equality - often suppress our realities such as a menstrual cycle, and petition we not be viewed differently from men. Here's my issue with that stance. Men DON'T have cycles every month! They don't have monthly reminders of their fertility status. Instead of embracing what makes us female, we deny the physical and emotional toll being a woman has on us.

So, after careful consideration, I have developed my own feminist stance that actually accepts what makes me female, and fights for more than equality. Here are a few things I NOW want:

  1. Paid Maternity Leave, for EVERYONE, regardless of economic status, job title/position, etc. If you have a job and become pregnant, you should not suffer financially because you are busy reproducing the earth. Disclaimer: Paternity Leave is great too, but this is about us right now.
  2. Provide Caregivers MORE Sick Days. Why do parents, and most often women, have to sacrifice their sick days for their kids. If you are a parent or caregiver (caring for an elderly parent), you NEED more sick days/time off.
  3. EMBRRACE being female. Why is it taboo to discuss what makes us female. We have cycles, we bear children, we experience life through different lenses. After becoming a mother, I have learned that this lack of discussion leaves women on an island. This island is filled with depression, feelings of inadequacy, and shame.
    Do what makes YOU happy. If you want to breastfeed, do it! If you want to stay at home for a year, two years, do it! If you truly want to go back to work after 6 weeks, go back to work. This idea that every mom, every woman even, has to fit in a certain feminist box drives me crazy.

My reformed feminist view believes there should be structures in place to accommodate all the above requests. Want to breastfeed - here are resources and a nursing room at your job. Want to quit your job altogether - no judgement. I didn't arrive at this point in my feminist journey overnight, so I don't expect others to join my bandwagon all at once. However, all are welcome aboard my judgement free ride.
Written By
Victoria Graham
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