Dear Future Feminist
Dear future feminist,
I’m writing you this letter because, first of all, I love you. You are my daughter, my sister, my neighbor, and my friend. You are (quite literally) the future of the human race. Secondly, you’re pretty B.A. And if that’s not a thing anymore, then you’re whatever the words for “on fleek,” “woke,” and “lit” are combined. Because you’re a woman, yes, but also because you’re a unique, gifted and vibrant person created on purpose with a purpose.
Finally, I’m writing this letter to clear something up, or at least bring a little clarity to a foggy subject. I’m writing to teach about what it is to truly be a feminist. See, somewhere along the way, our culture went a little wild with it. We took feminism and morphed it into arguing about what we deserve instead of defending our equality. Instead of loving on humanity, we made it about hating on the other sex.
But we can’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. Feminists matter; we need women who believe in women, who defend our rights, who celebrate our accomplishments. So ultimately, this letter is to encourage you to be a feminist. One who is balanced, who loves and celebrates other women. And most of all, one who cares more about others than yourself.
Don’t go too far
Somewhere along the way, something weird happened to feminism. And though it isn’t everyone who dubs the feminist title that’s gone a little loony, it’s worth mentioning so you avoid that slippery slope. You see, some women have decided that fighting for equal rights just isn’t enough; they began to start fighting against this or that, making demands and donning va-jay-jay hats. They went a step beyond, started expecting special treatment— I mean imagine how weird (not to mention wildly inappropriate) it would be to see men in droves wearing reproductive paraphernalia asking for government-issued condoms. Yep, too far. Even worse than the reproductive rallies, there are women who only breastfeed their baby girls but not their baby boys, because this would somehow add to their disadvantage. This, my dear daughter, is not feminism. This is anger. This is bitterness towards men that has become a blindfold preventing women from seeing the true and good potential of feminism.
(Actually) celebrate women
So what is our potential? To celebrate one another! This is one of the greatest things we can do for our fellow whoa-men. Because that’s what we are. We are the ‘whoa’ in mankind. The extra spice and curves and compassion this world needs—and so much more! So hell yeah, we’re worth celebrating! But the tricky part is, often the women our culture celebrates are admired for their unattainable beauty or outlandish career accomplishments. Celebrating women, thigh gaps or birthing hips, CFO or stay-at-home mama, is all about appreciating the variety and ability of each and every woman we know. It’s setting down our own wild yearning to be noticed and applauded and doing it for some-woman else. When we reach out and say, “hey, nice work mama,” or “wow, looking hawt neighbor” or “dang, crunch those numbers, sista,” we enter the ranks of women all around the globe who have lived their lives to empower others.
Champion more than just women
Throughout history, women have found ways to change the world. Some of the earliest historical texts talk about women who saved their households from armies, their people from genocide. These women were strong, powerful and vibrant. They affected change long before Susan B. Anthony and women’s suffrage was even a whisper. These women went forward despite what culture said about them. These women did stuff—great stuff—and not just for other women. I think of Mother Teresa, a woman who made such an enormous impact on the globe simply because she decided to enter into the poverty and pain of others, to do something when something needed to be done. And Lucy Stone, who went against what some of the other women’s suffragists were saying and fought for the abolition of slavery as well as the rights of her sex.
Sometimes, we need to do something for our fellow women, collectively or close-to-home. And sometimes we need to do something for men, or children, or the human race at large. True feminism, the way I see it, is believing we are equal in our ability to affect change for the good of our neighbors, society, even our world. And from that belief, we speak, act and affect change knowing we have and we will leave a positive print in history.