This Dad’s (Naive) Take At Understanding Feminism

13 months.

When I think of a feminist, I think of stereotypes like Jessie Spano from Saved By the Bell or the bookstore owners on Portlandia. I don’t really know what else to go on.

To make matters worse, no one can or is willing to define feminism for me. The answers I got when I asked people on Facebook were either A) “there is no one definition” or B) “you should read [so-and-so] book.”

So not only can no one tell me what it is, but I’m still left with stereotypes that no one seems to necessarily defend. I am a dad who simply wants to understand feminism. Why, though?

Because there is no denying the trading of so many traditional gender roles in the world of current American parenting. Like I’ve said before, changing diapers is no big deal at all for me. I can do that. I can learn to do a lot of things, but not all things are natural to my gender. In my book, changing diapers is neutral.

From what I understand, a feminist would say that when we assign gender roles to either parent, we are promoting sexism. Yet I was never able to breast feed. But I was the one able to get our son to sleep through the night by letting him cry it out. A lot of women would have a hard time with that.

I think it’s ridiculous to ignore gender roles. Why not work to the advantages of our natural abilities which our genders have graced us? Sure, some things are neutral; but others aren’t.

Are men and women truly equal?

Can a woman do anything a man can do?

Can a man do anything a woman can do?

My answer is: in theory. But in reality, I think if we are honest with ourselves, we know the real answers.

I celebrate the truth and find no shame in it. Celebrate women. Celebrate men. Celebrate both.

To me, if we can do that, we are truly not being sexists.

Image: Two hands giving each other, via Shutterstock.

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