Feminist or Not?

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We all have skeletons in our past. Some of us try tremendously harder than others to keep them buried in the back of the closet, behind our high school prom dresses, jeans we swear we will fit in again someday and shoes that we knew would never see the light of day, yet they looked so cute in the display window.

Those are the skeletons that have the most significant impact when they finally surface.

As women today, there is a massive push for feminism. Believe me; I am all for “show the boobs,” “equality for women,” “yes, you better pay me as much as you pay the man beside me with the same qualifications.” However, I am also the woman who enjoys cleaning the house and having dinner ready for my family, baking pies from scratch, so my husband will post a picture to Instagram, and even allowing myself to come second in our relationship at times.

Does that make me a June Cleaver? A Stepford Wife? An Anti-feminist?

The answer is, not at all. It is because of those qualities that make me an equal to my spouse because when I am not cooking and cleaning for my family, he is. When I am not baking pies, it is because I don’t want to, and when I am not coming in second in our relationship, it is because I am first.

However, when do I need to take a stand for my gender?

When do I need to allow the skeletons to reveal themselves?

Are my skeletons going to cause more harm than good?

Moreover, are my motives all about feminism?

Right now, in our society, we have a major political spectacle going on, and I must ask myself why? I have tried to keep quiet and allow myself to fester with my own opinions, but my voice was demanding to be heard.
Maybe I am a feminist after all.

We have a very well-educated woman who is accusing a very well-educated and politically involved man of sexual assault when she was fifteen years old. I will be honest; I do not know who is telling the truth. We have a classic debate of “he said,” “she said,” and we will probably never know the whole truth unless one party decides to break.

You might be saying, “Well, if you were a true feminist you would believe the woman.”

Which I would answer, “Really, and why is that?” “Is it because I am a woman and I should stand with my gender?”, alternatively, “I guess I should stand behind this woman because as women we have never stretched to the truth ever, right?”

See I do not base my ideas, theories or opinions on gender, nor race, or sexual orientation. I find my thoughts and conclusions on morals, values, respect, and compassion.

I refuse to believe a woman that technically doesn’t seem to recall much about the “incident” or “misconduct” just because she is a woman, because let me tell you another story of sexual misconduct.

I was eighteen years old, naive young thing, living in a small town where there weren’t many people you didn’t know. I was not very confident in myself, plump was an understatement, but I did enjoy flirting with my guy friends. One day I went to one of those friend’s house to hang out. We were watching tv and looking at a magazine about car stereos because I was interested in getting a new one, (It was the 90’s the decade of low-riders, and loud bass systems, no judgment) when my friend asked me to come to his room to show me something. Now I will admit two things right here; first, I do not remember what he wanted to show me, and second, I was stupid to fall for that line.

When I walked in the room, he closed the door behind me and locked it. I panicked. He then took it upon himself to grab and start kissing me forcefully. The next thing I know we are on the bed, and he is trying to undress me, and I am saying no. At some point, I apparently made my point to him, and as soon as he let up just a tad, I jumped up, ran to the door, and got out of that house as fast as I could. I remember driving there, the sun shining and it being hot. I remember leaving there, the same as when I arrived. There may be a few moments that I don’t recall, but I do know the big events. I know who it was, where it was, and how it happened. I also know how I arrived and how I left. I was lucky.

The outcome could have been so much worse for me, as for many other women, but I do not feel I was sexually assaulted. I think that I was a victim of misconduct, a situation that could have resulted in sexual assault, but I do not own that title.

That title is saved for all the victims that didn’t have a voice, who wasn’t able to fight off their perpetrator, those who were afraid for their lives and for their innocence being taken from them.

NO, I will not allow myself to use their title, and neither should you. In fact, until this whole political spectacle, this was not an event I spoke of out loud. Not because I had blocked it from my mind, but because I was not a victim of a teenage boy raging hormones. Maybe I should have spoken out about it when it happened to ensure that it didn’t occur to anyone else, but the thing is, I knew it was just teenage hormones, not a man who was out to rape and violate me. So there is no reason to name names now unless I want to destroy his reputation, his marriage, and his family, which I do not.

So, no, I will not believe the woman just because I am a fellow woman. Maybe that does make me anti-feminist, but this I know, Eve deceived Adam in the garden and we have followed suit ever since.