Civil Rights: Are you a feminist?

I feel like there has recently been an upsurge in articles about feminism, which is awesome. The latest one I came across was this: Keira Knightley Is Ready to Topple Male-Dominated Hollywood. I think she has some great things to say and her general tone overal is very empoewring.

What isn’t awesome is how “feminism” is often viewed as females elbowing their way into leadership roles, or how “gender equality” is so quickly communicated or understood as “gender neutrality.”

Now, as a young female professional, I would just like to say:

I am intelligent.

I am pretty.

I love start my day by working on my pull ups, I end it in strategic planning (you know, solving the world’s problems over decaf..)

I try to work hard and be excellent at everything I do inbetween.

I am a feminist.

However, being a feminist has very little to do with the actual activities I just mentioned.

It DOES have everything to do with my desire to see a common respect and partnership between the sexes.

I am fortunate because I’m surrounded by men in my life who are feminist. Though most haven’t proclaimed it from the rooftops, they share it with me every day by believing in me, pushing me, listening to my ideas AND by allowing me the honor to do all the same in return.

I am also surrounded by women in my life who are feminist; women who view themselves as strong and capable, who see purpose in their compassion and strategy in teamwork. They teach me how to love and honor the men and women in my life.

And I AM grateful to women in the spotlight, such as Keira, who are walking the walk and demonstrating to young girls that they don’t have to trade their dress for a pant suit in order to be taken seriously (unless, of course, they prefer to wear a pant suit.)

A saying made famous around my church by my pastor is “honor up, honor down, honor all around,” and I feel like it pertains to our attitudes here.

People will say, “I’m not a feminist, but..” and then go on to state something about their desire to see equality between the sexes. Let’s reclaim the word feminism, along with our attitudes toward the subject, and treat it as the noble pursuit it is: honoring the sexes and seeing them, not as the same, but equal in value.

This weekend we celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., his heart and his leadership in the American Civil Rights Movement. Not long before his assassination, Dr. King had asked himself what he wanted others to say about him at his funeral. His response, “I’d like somebody to mention that day that Martin Luther King, Jr., tried to give his life serving others.”

Have a great weekend!




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