This weekend, I went to a reunion. It was fun sharing memories of sleepovers, sports, and old times. I got a chance to catch up with some of my High School pals. People who knew the old Susan. -The 16 year old fearless Susan. I was such a feminist back then; so strong. I had plans to take on the world!
My junior year I had started (taking on the world). Along with my parents, and some of my friends, and their parents, we went to the school board and got a girl’s hockey team started at my High School. The first in it’s history. We had to work hard to find enough team members and get money donated for equipment, but in the end, it was awesome! Some of my greatest memories surround those two years and that team. Our school district’s decision to start a team, led to other districts in the state starting girl’s teams too. That led to the High School League officially making hockey a varsity girl’s sport in the State of Minnesota, and after that, other states followed. We were on the cusp of a revolution! It was so exciting to be a part of. Once I got the taste, once I felt that feeling, I had big dreams for my future. I felt like I could do anything! I was so full of ideas.
As I sat at the reunion this weekend reminiscing, I remembered the old Susan. I couldn’t help but wonder…..what would the 16 year old Susan have thought of the 32 year old version? If she could have taken a glimpse and seen the future image of herself….the floral dress wearing, minivan driving, suburban full-time mama version, would she have been disappointed?
I think, at the time, she would have. But, she was young, she didn’t know as much as she thought she did. She would have seen this ordinary life, full of play dates, T-ball games and bedtime stories, as somehow, the anti-feminist. What happened? How did I change so much?
This is who I am now.
I like this life (actually, I love it!). I may not be as outspoken, or as fearless, as confrontational or as bold, but I am still a feminist. I still hold the same beliefs (they’re just packaged differently). I chose this life. I want to be a mother and a wife, and all the things that fit the old societal mold, a mold that countless feminists have been trying to break. I knew this was not my only choice.
That’s what a feminist is; a person who believes that every woman can make her own choice. She’s someone who believes the options should be there, the money available, the jobs open, the mold flexible, that it’s okay to choose to work outside the home, or not. To be a mother, or not. To cook dinner and wear lipstick for your husband, or not.
What a woman chooses does not matter;
what matters is that she has the power to make a choice!
(The Feminine Mystique, Betty Friedan)
It was good to be around people who remember the old me, it helped me to remember too. I realized I’m really not so much different than I was back then. It’s a good feeling. The people who didn’t know the old Susan, probably don’t think of me as a feminist…..that’s just because, they don’t know me all that well.