The tomatoes continue to be in fine form, and because of this, I ended up getting maligned as “anti-feminist” by a schoolmate, as I was asking someone if they wanted any extras. Apparently things like gardening and cooking and knowing how to make your own pickles rather than paying crazy prices at a store makes me “anti-feminist.” Yeah, no. Trust me, I know anti-feminists. Circa 2005, I was the only one in a class of thirty-two who said they would vote for a woman. Of those people, seven, seven females, in that class, said that they didn’t believe that women should have the ability to vote, that’s anti-feminism.
When I left college for health reasons, with my credits so mucked up I had no idea how to start fixing them, a friend’s mother cheerfully told me that the only reason for girl’s to go to college was to “catch” a husband. That’s anti-feminism. (For all the amusement I had imagining an engineering student comping up with a Mouse-Trap style contraption to catch a husband.)
The fact that I am learning how to feed myself and my kin without running to The Dark Lord WaldeMart every other day? That’s not anti-feminism. The fact that I can take in my scrubs and therefore not have to pay for new ones every time I go down two sizes? That’s not anti-feminism. The fact that I am slowly conquering my fear of chickens so I can know how the animals that lay my eggs are treated and what they eat? That’s not anti-feminism. The fact that I am in training for a stereotypical feminine job? That has nothing to do with feminism, that has to do with 1) What I’ll be good at and 2) what I have a good chance of getting employment with when I finish. Heck, I wanted to be a marine when I was thirteen. You know what stopped me? Not the fact that I am a girl, but instead the fact that I am disabled and wouldn’t make it past the physical.
I fully believe in equal rights between the sexes. I also did ballet and tee-ball when I was a kid. The fact that I happen to bake pies and can pears doesn’t mean I’m training to be a submissive little housewife. Furthermore, if I was (pretending for a minute that I’m anything resembling submissive) then that would be my choice. If I want to rock out to Wolfchant or Flogging Molly while I make blackberry jelly it doesn’t make me any less a feminist than the twentysomethig studying Women’s Studies at Bryn Mawr. The whole point of early feminism was to give women a choice, and to let them do what they wanted to do, whether it was run for president or be in the boardroom. That doesn’t mean “push all the women out of the kitchen,” it means let the women do what they want. I want to make yummy food, play in the dirt, have some animals, do some sewing, and do something for the environment.
And if you still want to argue that I’m “oppressing” myself, I have lots of sharp pointy things. I like sharp pointy things, and I can probably use them better than you.