By Whitney Ruef Modern feminism has been a point of contention for decades. Some say it’s the reason why women aren’t where we should be: barefoot and pregnant cleaning the homes of our hard-working husbands. Some say it’s helping to break the glass ceiling of women in the workplace. And some say "feminism is something that men invented so women would burn their bras and sleep around." It could be a combination, but who really knows what the hell women are thinking anyway?
Chivalry isn’t dead. It’s brutally maimed and writhing, taking its last, rattling breaths. What we don’t talk about though, is that women are killing it. We decided (or maybe men decided while they were in line at the gas station buying lighters for the bra burning ceremony) that we wanted to be treated as equals in all aspects of life. It was an all-or-nothing declaration of independence and self-sufficiency, and it was glorious. Then, a strange thing happened: for the first and only time in the history of the modern world, men listened to us.
All of the sudden we were working jobs and taking care of children. We were super women. We were making our own money and showing the world that we are just as capable as men in the workplace, kicking ass and taking names if you will. The Nike commercial “Anything you can do, I can do better” came on television and women across the country sat on the couch feeding their newborns, typing emails with their toes and laughing knowingly that we had finally gotten what we wanted, because we’re wily and women always get what we want.
Sure, we were still being objectified, but we were going to put a stop to that. Enter: the pantsuit. The perfect corporate wear to make it absolutely impossible for any male to be attracted to you. We wore the pantsuit like it was the ticket to our next promotion, because if we looked like a man, no doubt we would get treated like one.
Then one day, we had a realization: we weren’t getting asked on dates anymore---we were hooking up. We actually didn’t like juggling a job and taking care of our latchkey kids who hated us. Maybe all of our bra burning and declarations of equality weren’t getting us what we wanted after all. And we were finally able to admit to ourselves that taking it easy every once in awhile is actually kind of fun.
We like having the door opened for us. Dinner dates are enjoyable. And we like being taken care of when we’re sick or hurt. While we were kicking and screaming to get what we thought we wanted, somewhere along the way we mixed up the meaning of equality and respect. Women don’t want to be treated like men - we aren’t men. It’s time to reevaluate the goals of feminism in the world today. But we’re women---the only thing that’s certain is that this opinion might change tomorrow.
Whitney Ruef recently graduated from VCU Brandcenter where she studied advertising copywriting. She is currently living in Richmond, VA and looking for "the job a million girls would kill for" in advertising. She is a third degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do and thinks some of the best food comes from taquerias located in gas stations. Her portfolio can be found at www.whitneyruef.com.