Is it one excluding the other? And why not? Both a housewife and a feminist, and beautiful, and smart!

We really love dualisms. Black-white, male-female, housewife-feminist…

But very often we forget that life isn’t so simple that we can categorize everything into polarized opposites.

How vast is the spectrum of colors between black and white? Yes, enormous.

So it is with all other categories.

As always in such analyses, it’s best to start with oneself.

Countless times I’ve “felt bad” for enjoying something “that contradicts my explicit feminism.” But there’s no need!

Because feminism is exactly that – freedom! The freedom for a woman to choose what she wants or doesn’t want to be, what she wants or doesn’t want to do.

Today I had “my day” when I was supposed to go into town, to a café and write. Just that, to enjoy and let my fingers dance across the keyboard. But I didn’t do it.

Why? Was the decision conscious or automated, somewhere in our subconscious when that worm pops up “you could spend more time with the family,” or that “but you haven’t collected the laundry, and you’re just loafing around,” like a million similar, learned and deeply ingrained sentences.

I like to believe that this time the decision was mine and rational, because hey, why spend another 5-7 euros today when I have perfect coffee at home?

But all of that is less important.

a housewife and a feminist

What is important are those damned learned behaviors that every woman carries with her, regardless of how emancipated or educated she is, regardless of how much she knows and applies her feminism.

Yes, I am a feminist and not at all discreet about it.

But yes, I still carry my learned internalized “female” behaviors (deeply ingrained by patriarchy) with me.

But am I less of a feminist when I enjoy my role as a mother? Or as a wife? When I get up in the morning before everyone else and prepare meals to take to Marko and Sofia, and I do it with a smile on my face?

Honestly, I wouldn’t say so, because that’s my personal choice.

Being a woman and a feminist doesn’t exclude either. That’s the beauty of freedom of choice.

If I want to do something for myself, I can.

If I want to do something for my loved ones, I can do that too.

And what about “others”?

Do women, who “by default” wouldn’t be considered feminists, deserve equal rights?

A few days ago, Marko and I finally started watching the documentary series “She Wakes Up,” and in the first episode, we already had that “aha” effect.

Namely, the documentary mentions the fact that if a woman “takes too much” care of herself, especially through numerous aesthetic corrections, she is automatically considered “empty” (not to say stupid) in society and is reduced to her sexuality, which, of course, is understood in a negative context.

But wait, aren’t those double standards?

And is it a fact that “beautiful and well-groomed” women can’t be feminists?

Do they have fewer rights to freedom and choice?

If those of us who don’t wear makeup, don’t hold children, and don’t want to fit into “industry standards” demand acceptance as we are, isn’t it just as legitimate a choice for other women to look the way they want to – fully made up, with silicone, in high heels? Well, I’d say it is.

Because reducing anyone to appearance by the principle of stupid and beautiful versus smart and ugly is inherently problematic and an integral part of the same patriarchy.

A woman is a woman. And every woman must have the right to choose, in every sense and aspect!

So, the fact that Pamela looks the way she does is her right, her choice, and it doesn’t imply that she’s stupid, just like any other woman. Nor does she deserve to be treated as less important, less valuable, and belittled by men or other women.

I think Billie Eilish proved that best with her example. She was recently ridiculed on the internet for becoming too feminine overnight, and then she returned to wearing baggy clothes. When asked why she did it, she simply said – because I can! And that’s feminism!

If today I want to walk around in shorts without shaving – I can.

If tomorrow I want to wear a prom dress – I can.

One doesn’t exclude the other, and you’re not less of a woman or less of a feminist if you switch between these two “extremes.”

And that’s what we need to understand.

Woman, mother, feminist

Being a devoted mother and a wife to your husband doesn’t mean you’re worth less as a person. Nor does putting your needs ahead of your family’s needs make you a lesser mother or woman, you’re just a person with needs.

And yes, this is very different from the time when there was no feminism. Because our grandmothers and great-grandmothers didn’t have a choice, they had to be what was expected of them, and no one even gave them the possibility not to.

We can. And why shouldn’t we?

Why not enjoy cooking lunch? Why not be a perfect housewife today? With all my masculine haircut, in tight leggings?

And tomorrow, sit with a coffee in hand while reading a book, and my husband does the laundry during that time? And enjoy it.

I am a woman, and I’m proud of it.

And only I can choose what I want to be and not to be. And that can change.

Because feminism is freedom for all women, without exception.

And that’s why I’m a feminist. Primarily for myself, and then even more for Sofia.

I want my daughter to have even more choices and fewer pressures than I do. So she doesn’t have to fight battles alone with herself, and especially not with others, about what she can and can’t be.

I’m a feminist because I’m a woman, and vice versa.