Disney came under criticism for their stereotypical portrayals of damsels in distress. We’ve all seen the princess locked in a tower, captured by the dragon and desperately waiting for her prince to come and rescue her. For years, they were attacked for their sexist depiction of women, but I wonder if they may have actually had it right, to some degree. Please don’t attack me as being anti-feminist, but I think the feminist movement has encouraged and even pushed us to forsake those very qualities that make us who we are as women.
Feminism in America has taken many forms over the years. It started in the early 1900s with Women’s Suffrage. It spiked again in the 60s and 70s where women rejected the 50s-style June Cleaver image of a stay-at-home mom (whose sole purpose in life was to take care of their husband, clean house, cook and do laundry). They burned bras and fought for their right to be sexually independent, just like a man. Even the “girl power” wave attributed to the Spice Girls that hit in the 90s, shaped young girls’ idea of who and what a woman should be.
But, I think in our desire to be equal with men, we have neglected so many great qualities that define us as women… or CAN define us as women. WE ARE NOT MEN. We’re not wired the same. At our core, women are created to be emotional. We’re designed to be soft and maternal. Those qualities don’t make us weak, they have the potential to make us more well-rounded if we learn to accept and balance them. For so long, we’ve EMBRACED society’s ideas of who we SHOULD be as a woman, instead of DECIDING the kind of woman we WANT to be. We can be successful in business without being a man-eater. We can be stay-at-home moms without being June Cleaver. We can be sexy without exploiting our bodies sexually to get what we want. There CAN be balance in being feminine AND being feminist. It’s our choice.