I live on a campus where the women are fiercely feminist, I too am feminist but in a middle ground sort of way. I feel it is just as feminist to choose staying home with your kids as it is to work or to balance both. Recently when some folks saw me wearing my apron with a bandana covering my hair they giggled and gave me a little bit of a hard time. It was mostly in good fun but it made me think about why I do the things I do. First off the apron and the bandana are practical, covering my hair keeps it from falling into the food I am preparing. Wearing and apron keeps my clothes clean, I am a mess cook. I chose to stay home with my daughter, I like to cook, I like a clean house. Therefore I cook and I clean. I like spending time teaching my daughter about the world, so I stayed home with her. I seem to be in a place now where those choices make you less feminist, which in turn makes you less then. That is very frustrating! Why is it wrong for me to enjoy cooking? Or choosing to raise my daughter? I thought feminism was about women getting their voice heard not going from one society imposed role to another.
When I wear my apron and I make family recipes and carry on traditions it is not because it is a role that was forced on me by an overbearing family system. I do it because I am carrying on a tradition I have chosen to carry on, trust me there are some I left behind. I can remember my beautiful Grammy in the kitchen making rice pudding, preparing her recipe makes me feel connected to her even though she is no longer with us. In some ways my grandmother was pretty traditional when it came to gender roles but she also didn't take crap from anyone, she was tough and would put anyone in their place. I would venture to say she was feminist even if she wouldn't give herself that label. My mother is far from the typical gender role and yet she too held on to traditions like the Easter Bunny Cake. She too can hold her own in the world and has balanced motherhood, housekeeping and running a business all on her own.
I think there is something powerful about choosing traditions, choosing the apron, and making choices that make you feel empowered and loved.
Today I am grateful for feminism on my own terms.
May you be blessed by finding your own terms it whatever it is you hold dear to your heart.