I FIGURED IT OUT! I was born in the wrong time period! I’m currently watching “Princess”, the Legend of the Seeker episode where Cara/Tabrett Bethell must pretend to be a princess. There is an impromptu curtsy-off over who can bend the lowest. I thought to myself, “I’d already fail, cotillion and Maypole dancing failed to teach me a proper curtsy!” To check my spelling of cotillion I Googled it and ended up reading the wikipedia pages about it and Maypole dances. They’re both old. Cotillion dates to the 1700s in France and May Day is ancient, but Maypole dances in the U.S. date back to 1628.
On one hand, as I stated, my curtsies are not pretty. On the other hand, I live in the U.S. in the 21st century, yet belong to a culture where cotillion, Maypole dances, and debutant balls still exist. Here, Maypole dances involve ribbons, pole, and teenage or pre-teen girls in white dresses.
Although no one ever told me women were less than or different, I grew up with clearly defined gender roles. For example, women work in the kitchen and men work the yard. Until, my sister-in-law came along, everyone silently obeyed the unspoken rules.
At the same time, outside society keeps pushing ideas down my throat like “having it all”.
So, I have factions at war. On one side, I want a protector. On the other side, I want to be independent and self-sufficient. I grew up in a world that said, “the man takes your coat, stands up when you leave the table, leads you by the arm, etc”, but I face a world that says “you must be the same to be equal.”
I know equality does not have to equal sameness. I do not view myself as less than men or anyone else, other than the whole I-hate-myself-thing. Yet, I do not think division of labor has to equal a hierarchy.
What if, my uncertainties are because I’m trying to fit into the world at large, while still holding on to the world I grew up in? And somehow, that was twisted into bdsm? It might be a contributing factor. I do feel guilty for submissive tendencies because people keep saying woman are equal and therefore, should not submit.
I believe everyone should have the right to chose their own path. My feminism: Fighting for the right to chose any path, whether that means no kids and no partner, stay at home mom, or something in between. It is like that scene in Mona Lisa Smile.
Note: I don’t really blame feminism or my upbringing for my issues! Also, Alice Paul is my hero! Yes, I like the right to vote, own property, etc. I’m just trying to explore my personal motives in life…