The freedom of American feminism is tough. Amazing, but tough.
There are may things that I have been told that I “should” be doing in the name of feminism.
1. You should make sure that you are doing SOMETHING to further your career while you stay home with your little ones.
2. You should be working full time once your kids are in full time school. Why not?
3. You should vote. If not, why did women fight tooth and nail for the right to?
4. You should go back to school to become a Pastor. After all, you are a Jesus feminist. That’ll show ’em.
5. You should build some “me” time into your schedule. You deserve it.
6. You should use that “me” time to hit the gym. Get strong, girl. Strong is the new skinny.
7. You should feel blessed that you and your husband are egalitarian. You sure are lucky that he cooks and cleans. And he has a full time job? Whoa.
8. You should really not stand up for the Somali-Muslim community here in St. Cloud. Don’t you know how they treat their women and girls? How can you be for that?
9. You should be careful with your love of Somalis. I hope you like black. ‘Cause soon, you’ll be wearing a hijab.
10. You should feel blessed to be a woman and still get to be in most forms of church leadership. Some churches don’t allow that.
I could go on, and on, and on. With so many things that I apparently SHOULD do, how do I decide what I AM going to do?
First, I get alone. Usually in my mini van as I’m driving to pick up somebody from somewhere. I turn off the radio. I wade through all the “should’s” and I listen to what the Spirit deep in my soul is saying (talk about new age, hippy Jesus-love jargon;). I shove aside my pride and look at the big picture of my life. My kid’s life. My family’s life. I ask myself, again, what I should be giving up today that can free me up to take the next step of faith tomorrow.
This is freedom, mixed with courage, minus hubris. It is a concoction that is never finished and always changing. It is a fight, yes. Sometimes I am to heavy on the freedom or to brazen in the name of courage. Sometimes I forget to minus the hubris.
All in all, THIS is what I SHOULD be doing.This constant battle. For feminism. For others. For Jesus. For my kiddos. For my husband. And, yes, for me.