Mother's Day is a great time to reflect on not only the fact that your mom is the best, but also why she is the best. Like, if you can look back on your childhood and remember all the little ways your mom raised you to be a feminist, you owe her a giant hug, a massive thank-you, and probably an abundance of cupcakes to give her. She is the reason you don't have time for other people's petty BS. She is the reason you demand respect from those around you. She's the reason you know just because someone says you should smile more, that you absolutely do not have to smile more, and you're perfectly justified in telling them to leave you the heck alone. Really, she's the reason you are who you are today.
Modern feminism isn't just about burning bras and refusing to shave your body hair — it's about awareness that until we are all treated as equals, our work is not done. And your mom is the reason you're informed, educated, and passionate about equality becoming a reality. Here are all the telltale signs that your mom raised you to be a feminist, and why you should thank her for it immediately.
1. You were told you could be anything you wanted
No dream job was off limits, because why should it be? Your mom made sure you knew that if you wanted to become President one day, you totally could.
2. You picked out your own clothes as a kid
You weren't limited to matching pink shirts and skirts. Your mom gave you the freedom to define your own personal style, even if that meant wearing a costume crown, a baseball jersey, PJ bottoms, and green rain boots on a sunny day.
3. You felt bad for movie princesses
Maybe at first, the damsel in distress trope seemed nice. It's a comforting concept, to be stuck in a horrible situation and then rescued by a handsome stranger with whom you'll fall instantly in love. But then your mom made you see the light, because none of those damsels needed to be rescued by random dudes. They could save themselves, and you can, too.
4. You admired Dana Scully and other confident, independent fictional females
Instead of Cinderella and Ariel, you wanted to be like Scully or Clarissa, or Lara Croft. You wanted to be the strong, brave hero of the story, and had no interest in settling for the role of the sidekick or the eye candy.
5. You learned not to let misogyny get in the way of your goals
You probably faced an endless stream of ignorance throughout school, and even now as you build your career, the sexism you face isn't over. But you don't let it get to you. It has nothing to do with your capability to achieve your goals, and everything to do with their insecurities.
6. You recognized the importance of ovaries before brovaries early on
You were raised to know that no boy is worth fighting with your BFFs over. Girl power is sacred, and should be priority numero uno.
7. You weren't forced to hide or ignore your own emotions
Women are stereotyped as being "emotional." I can't even count on one hand the number of male teachers who tried to tell me how I felt or how I should feel about someone else bullying me, or just being a jerk. When someone once called me "chunka hunka," I was told I needed to "toughen up" by the teacher who saw him do it. It was one of the first times my body was ridiculed and judged. I was in second grade. I cried in the middle of the school day, and that kid received zero punishment.
My mother then told me that my emotions are mine, they don't belong to anyone else, and all of them are normal to experience. Vulnerability is a strength, not a weakness. Thanks, Ma!
8. You don't depend on marriage as a way to survive in this world
It's possible your mom was conditioned to believe that marriage was a necessity, and that she would probably have to depend on her husband's income for shelter, food, and clothing. It was a different time.
And now we're in a much better time. Women are working. They are choosing to marry for love, not out of necessity — and more and more aren't getting married at all. You never felt pressure to fulfill an outdated expectation, and you knew your mom would support your choices, no matter what.
9. You know how beautiful you are without anyone else telling you
Your opinion of how you look is the only opinion that matters. Your mom taught you early on that self-love is the most important love to achieve, and to never put more emphasis on how beautiful other people think you are than how beautiful you feel.
Now go out and tell your mom how much of a feminist queen she is — because you wouldn't be the strong, amazing woman you are without her.
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