My great grandmother had two daughters, both of these daughters were to be well educated and have careers. To be their own women and not defined as “their husbands wife”. One became a doctor and the other was meant to become a concert pianist.
My grandmother didn’t want to be a pianist, she became a housewife... with seven kids. My great grandmother was not impressed, she wanted her daughters to be “modern women”.
But my grandmother still rallied for women’s rights and to have political awareness, for women to be seen as intellectuals that had something to say and had a right to say it. She put on her first pair of slacks when she was in her early 20’s and announced she would never wear a skirt again… ever.
She lied, but in the late 40’s this was a bold move for a woman.
She said she was an advocate of woman’s rights without being a woman’s lib type and after her death I realised how much she did for woman in Australia, which is a pity because I would have loved to talk to her about it.
She was also a religious woman who thought a woman’s place was to be a homemaker. I have no doubt that she battled with these points of view, again I wish I could talk to her candidly about it now.
Moving right along to the next generation, my mother is/was women’s lib to an extreme, stereotypical extent. When I was about 9 she came home with a crew cut and refused to wear makeup or jewellery and didn’t shave or pluck anything… except for her top lip. She did have her pride.
She also decided she was a born again virgin (not sure how that works when you have three kids) and she believed that women (more specifically, mothers) were the single most important thing on this planet.
At least this was my impression of her when I was 9 to when I was 15.
She still has the occasional tendency of “man bashing” and making broad brush strokes when defining what “men” are like. My poor brothers, I’m happy that I was a female in this environment.
I’m not kidding, I am happy I was in this environment. I was raised that women, all women, had the power and strength to be what ever they wanted. Anything at all.
So I, the 4th generation of strong, motivated women…. became an accountant.
WOO! I am woman hear me roar!
I think I take my rights as a woman, or rather as a human being, for granted. I know the women before me fought and are still fighting for our right to be equal to our male counterparts.
But I also enjoy being in the kitchen and wearing make up and I rather value my bra (yes, I know they didn’t actually burn their bra’s, it was symbolic). I value being a women and I enjoy wearing skirts and slacks and I think that women’s right is the right to choose. As it is a man’s right to wear skirts or slacks if he so chooses.
I think the post modern woman doesn’t need to be anything other than what they want, if it be a pianist or a homemaker.