Editor’s Note: Author Ashley Ezerski is a student in the fall 2010 Women’s Studies Program Special Topics course, That Chick is Crazy: Women and Madness, at The University of Akron.
Don’t get me wrong, some women don’t want to stay home and raise children, and hey,that’s fine! If you don’t want children– then you simply shouldn’t. But I can say for myself that I am a feminist, and I am an awesome mother as well.
My first child was born when I was only eighteen years old. Hell no, I wasn’t ready to have children, but there I was raising one. And so far I’ve done the best I could.
Over the years I have had to endure many looks because I appeared to be a sixteen-year-old with three or four children. At one point I had to stop caring about what others thought and just thought of the look on their faces as a sign of some lingering illness. I am a wife, I am a mother, I am a feminist: Hear me roar!
When my daughter was about six, she shared a conversation with the lady next door. Isabella, my daughter, asked the neighbor’s daughter why she played with baby dolls. The neighbor said because they teach you how to be a mother.
My daughter replied, “Well, babies come out of your vagina, and I am not doing that!”
I can’t help but laugh every time I think of this because obviously I did something right. My daughter at six didn’t feel she had to follow in her mother’s footsteps; she knew she could think for herself.
Wow, I’m one freaking cool mom!
So what makes me a feminist? I take care of my fellow women. I raise my boys to love and respect women, and I raise my daughters to love and respect themselves. Sometimes I worry myself because I care so much,but then you just have to run with it. If you’re passionate about something, it must be important. Right?
During the years of my pregnancies I suffered from something I believed didn’t exist called postpartum depression. Well, I will let you in on the secret, it exists! This illness made me grow up.This illness made me a better mother and friend. This illness made me a feminist.
We think of pregnancy as an illness, but it’s not. Pregnancy can be a wonderful part of a woman’s life, if she chooses. But it takes more than a pregnancy to make a joyful woman and baby; it takes support. If anything – you must have support. And if you don’t – reach out and give support because trust me, being a mother is often lonesome. I know this because I am a mother, but I understand this because I am a feminist.
Some like to define what a feminist is by trying to define what they are, and that’s fine. But please do not label me. Labeling goes against the feminist idea. Support your idea of feminism by activism, whatever that may be. Just don’t limit yourself to one idea.
I am a mom, I am a student, I am a wife, friend, lover, a bisexual, daughter, cousin, sister, mentor, and I am a feminist.