I know I’m not the first to address this topic, nor will I be the last. But my friend Cheyanne’s post got me thinking about gender, especially as a woman who is going to be giving birth to a little baby boy soon.
I’ve been afraid of my femininity before, because I don’t want people to think that I am subscribing to traditional gender roles and styles solely because they are traditional. I love hair bows and all things pink and wearing high heels. My domestic approach to the home could also be considered traditional, as I prefer to do the cooking and much of the cleaning while my husband has been the breadwinner as of late. Does that make me any less of a feminist because of that? I don’t think so.
See, it’s all about choice. I would be just as supported by my family if I had decided to get into the corporate world, but that’s not my passion. Being a homemaker was never expected of me – if anything, my husband (then boyfriend) was horrified when I mentioned that I would love to stay at home with our children some day. After years of getting used to the idea, my husband is fully on board with me taking on as much or as little work as I need to in order to care for my home and my family. These things make me happy. They are the things that I am passionate about (yes, even hair bows). How can that be a bad thing?
I read a lot of homemaking blogs and websites, mainly for the tips. A lot of these happen to be Christian websites as well, which is fine! Until I get to the parts where they say they are raising “future homemakers.” That makes me slightly ill. Because it should be about choice, and all people should be given the option to explore what they truly want to do with their lives.
My son will be put in adorable bow ties and sweet plaid coveralls in blues and greens when he is a baby. Eventually, he will decide what his style is, and whether it is more “masculine” or “feminine” – and that is completely up to him! The nursery, however, was decided long before I knew whether we were having a boy or a girl – to me, it didn’t matter if the theme and colors “matched” my baby’s prescribed sex.
So yes, I will continue to wear my skirts and red lipstick proudly. But I will also challenge myself to explore the dichotomy between feminism and femininity, and encourage others to determine what makes them feel best. Femininity is just a word, really. And that’s what the Refine Challenge is all about – to explore your own definition and apply it to your own life.