April 28, 2012

my feminism

So I'm sitting on the comfy couch in my friend's spa as my mom gets a facial (the best facial in town if anyone is wondering) and I'm pondering the conversation my mom and I had on the car ride up.

I sometimes feel like I'm not sure what my "mission" in life is. I feel like I'm  seeker and there is no end in my journey. I won't necessarily "arrive" and that's ok. I always thought that I everything I did had to have an end. And I realized, there is no end. Everything is eternal and forever.

At the scholarship ceremony the other day I was getting down on myself that I don't have a real vision or drive toward something involving my feminism or "what I want to do". A lot of the women receiving scholarships were working on something specific. One woman's feminism was expressed through poetry, another's through editing a book of women's essay's and art, and another through the military. And I don't really have a direct "avenue" if you will.

As I was driving home by myself that night, I was crying a little. Mostly out of gratitude for the scholarship I had received, that my mom and brother came down for the event, and also, that I didn't have a direct avenue of my feminism.

Now going back to my conversation with my mom, I don't have to have one specific avenue. I'm a dabbler in many avenues. I'm a feminist in my own way, and that doesn't mean I have to be an activist. I make my own impressions and differences in my own way.

I express mine through femininity, sassiness, gentleness and independence. I'm not a protester or a bra burner. The world needs me for who I am.

I have many aspirations and things morph and change. Come and go. But I was reminded that everything I do makes a difference and blesses my own life and others. I often feel like I'm still trying to find myself, and yet I feel like my life will always be a journey of seeking. I'm a seeker of all things good. And I do things my way.

Thanks Mama for reminding me of who I am.
And for always taking care of me.

The speaker at the scholarship event also brought up the word "Womanist" That's a whole other topic for another time. But it's got me thinking. What is the difference between "womanist" and "feminist"?

4 blurbs:

Carolyn said...

Your Mama is right.

None of those other women express themselves solely through one avenue. Those lines are just elevator speeches: the answers to "What do you do?" when you only have one minute to respond.

You don't need an elevator answer, Julia. And if you did, you'd be able to smile at them and they'd see who you were in that instant of open kindness.

michael morrow said...

nice mama...nice auntie...nice daughter

Lianne said...

Well, here's what I know about you:

1. Everyone you touch is the better for it.
2. You impact the world just by breathing
3. You always know what you're supposed to be doing in the moment... which means your "mission" is super flexible and always at the ready.
4. You are awesome
5. Read #4 again and really get it
6. (There is no #6 - ask CB)
7. Your activism will always come from your heart and that is perfect
8. Read #4 again
9. You really are an embodiment of love and kindness, you give others permission to do the same.
10. I could not be more proud of you or love and adore you more.

Kayce said...

I really loved reading this. I really related. When I decided to stay at home with Madi instead of pursuing (right now) a career in teaching, it was such a tough decision for me. I felt like working moms were judging me, telling me that I was abandoning them and my degree. I felt like stay at home moms were judging me because it was such a hard decision. In the end I was thankful it was my decision to make. I feel like feminism is about allowing women independence and individuality. It should be about allowing women to find their own roles in life and what makes them happy, not putting women in another box! At least that's what I think. And if there's one thing I know for certain about you, it's that you don't fit neatly into boxes. And I love that.
Oh, I'm on a mental roll here so I'm going to keep going, sorry for the lengthy comment. I've also often struggled with the word "feminist." Am I one? What does it really mean? I love the idea of having your own flavor of feminism. That really speaks to me and what I envision for women (individuality, independence, strength, choices). I can still be an advocate for women even if I'm not in the workplace, even if I'm not protesting. I can make a difference for women by the way I interact with people, the kind of language I use, the choices I make.
Oh, and I'm really interested in the idea of a womanist, I'd love to learn more about it. If you have something to point me to to read I'd love it.