I have never been a big fan of Taylor Swift, despite my often mocked love for country music. I find Swift to be childish and idealistic, even whiney at times, but when I read a recent article that called her the anti-feminist, I was ready to convert to team Swifty to defend her.
The article, published on Thought Catalog, said that by purveying the stereotype of the virginal maiden who must kiss a few frogs before she finds her prince, Swift is going against all progress and ideals of feminism.
I could not disagree more. The goal of feminism is not to define what the female experience should be for each individual, it is to empower women to be exactly who they want to be and pursue their own dreams and desires.
The whole movement is pointless if women are held back in any way, be it shaving their heads and burning their bras or spending their lives pregnant and barefoot. Feminism is not about hating men, shedding your femininity or rejecting societal norms. In fact, the word feminism itself was poorly chosen- feminism is equality and independence for all genders.
For a woman to seek out a relationship with a man, she is not forced to give up any essence of her individuality or self-worth. In fact, being in a healthy loving relationship can have very positive effects in the development and discovery of self. It is only when relationships are abusive or unhealthy that they have a detrimental affect.
Women should not be shamed for seeking out companionship, no matter who it is with. There is nothing wrong with being independent and single, but it is also possible to maintain and thrive in a co-independent relationship.
I hope that Hala Numan on page 18, and anyone else seeking out their ideal significant other can learn to do so without compromising themselves. To be a strong woman is not to emulate idealized male qualities. It is to recognize your personal strengths and characteristics and use them to your best benefit.
In a heterosexual relationship, giving your body to childbirth and your last name to your husband is not a sign of submission or inferiority, it is a commitment to a relationship to both husband and children that is an experience unique to women.
It is no secret to my friends and family that I daydream about engagement rings, baby onesies and a car full of kids. This desire has not stopped me from pursuing a degree or seeking out a career, but it has served as my goal and purpose for working so hard at all I do.
There is no such thing as Mr. Right. For that matter, Mrs. Right does not exist either. Strong healthy relationships are born out of a mutual attraction, love and a desire to work hard through the tough times.
It is not right for anyone, no matter which gender, to give themselves up in the search for a significant other.
Romeo, save me, I’ve been feeling so subjugated by misplaced feminism.