Stay at Home Mom Makes Her Own Mind


I used to think, personally, that I could never be a feminist. I just never identified as one. I wanted the white picket fence, to be a stay at home mom and pop out a bunch of kids while my husband supported us. I’d knit and cook and decorate the childrens’ rooms and that would be it. It wasn’t until recently that I realized that I don’t necessarily need to be an icon to be a feminist- just support other women’s rights to be.

Webster’s Dictionary defines feminism as (1) the theory of the political economic, and social equality of the sexes (2) organized activity on behalf of women’s rights and interests. They believe that women should get paid equally, be afforded the same opportunities as men, and that the only way a woman can ‘ask for it’ when it comes to sex is by approaching a strapping young man and using the words “Will you please engage in sexual relations with me?” (Okay, maybe not those words exactly, but at least some that are synonymous.)

Do you believe that:

  • the person with the uterus has the final say in what happens to it?
  • if a woman doesn’t want to be a ‘Happy Housewife’ and play soccer mom for your children, then she has the right to bring home some delicious, female-empowered bacon?
  • equality in general is pretty cool?
  • women in power are super rad and inspiring?
  • ‘your jam’ will forever be found on a Spice Girls, Indigo Girls, Le Tigre, Joan Jett, or even Cheetah Girls album!?

As much as I would hate to completely crumble everything you thought you knew about yourself- if you answered yes to most or all of those questions, you MIGHT be a feminist. Now I know what you’re thinking- ‘but I shave under my arms and don’t think all men should bow down to women!’ but there’s a weird twist- Neither do all feminists!

I mean alright, I think we all think men should bow down to women now and then, but that’s because we’re awesome (not because we’re women)! The point is, the general public is grossly misinformed about what a feminist is. Stick around and you’ll see that this is not about burning bras. We are a movement towards equality, against mistreatment and sexism, and for women to respect themselves and each other.

Now, if my saying you might be a feminist freaked you out a little bit, don’t worry. Agreeing with those things doesn’t pigeonhole you as one. All that proves is that you believe in some of the major feminist ideals. If there is anything to take from this it’s that you have the absolute right and encouragement to be whatever or whomever you want to, and that’s what it stands for.

In the words of Kate Nash “FEMINISM is not a dirty word. It does not mean you hate men, it does not mean you hate girls that have nice legs and a tan, and it does not mean you are a ‘bitch’ or ‘dyke’, it means you believe in equality”, and that makes all the difference.

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My name's Lauren but I go by Debra too. I'm an incoming freshman at UAlbany, I like creative things. I play ukulele, I read, I paint (sort of) and I work for Santa. I'm not kidding.

8 thoughts on “Stay at Home Mom Makes Her Own Mind”

    1. I didn’t write this article, but as someone who often struggles between the “label” that I want to represent, I think the important to thing to do is admit that there is a choice. When most people hear the word “feminist”, they assume that the person being referred to is some angry, hairy, butch female, and that they think women who work in the home and take care of the kids are just subjected to the patriarchy, instead of making their own mind up.
      I, personally, identify as a 4th wave feminist/1st wave equalist. I think that anyone- regardless of gender, can identify with feminism, if they agree with it’s given politics. The problem is that feminism is still a theory and so there are many different branches and beliefs, which is why things like “womanism” and “equalism” were created.

      -Ingrid aka lilgrrlcreep

  1. I politely disagree. Feminism is female centric and necessarily concerned with only gender equality and ONLY between men and women which myopically ignores other gender issues and precludes the self identified ‘feminists’ from being concerned about other equality issues while simultaneously claiming to be struggling for equality.

    Equalism is not about a single issue, but all issues of equality. This is a much more egalitarian approach to equality. Seek equality for all, not simply the female. How do you tell a lesiban that you seek equality for women but not for lesbians? How do you claim to seek equality for women but ignore transgendered women? Why would a socially conscious woman support opposition to female genital mutilation but not all genital mutilation? What I’m getting at is that feminism itself creates a divide, alienates support, and ignore those that most need the support of those fighting for equality.

    1. I completely agree with your comment. I think the best way to explain what I meant in my last response is to be more clear and say “4th wave feminism”, because I do think that we are entering a new wave, and that it is more about general equality, verses a white-cis gendered-female feminism.
      In regards to this article, it is someone’s personal experience with discovering feminism and what the definition means to them in juxtaposition of what it meant to them before, which focuses on the ability of having a choice.

      -Ingrid aka lilgrrrlcreep

      1. Exactly! You have the right and ability to choose, for yourself, what you identify as. I think this article best displays that. You can acknowledge that you have some feminist beliefs (or humanist beliefs) and not identify with the movement.
        -Ingrid aka lilgrrrlcreep

  2. I think you definitely can be a stay-at-home mom/housewife AND be a feminist at the same time. Some women might choose to be stay-at-home moms and that doesn’t mean that they are any less feminist than women who choose not to be stay-at-home moms. In most of my women’s studies classes, we would read articles making housewives seem unfit for the category of feminists because they are “giving in” to the traditional gender roles of domestic work and raising children in a world where patriarchy still exists. I did read only ONE article defending housewives and saying how feminism can be limiting in that aspect. Why shouldn’t you be able to identify as both a housewife and as a feminist? Feminism is about equality, making your own choices, etc., not about whether or not you want to stay at home and raise children.

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