Before I get into what I want to write I would just like to say that I am aware that feminism is a huge subject of which many books have been written, talks have been given and (dis)agreements have been had. With this blog post I do not in any way try to cover everything about feminism. As with all my other blog posts, I give my two cents about (part of) a topic in the hope that it somehow will make a little difference to someone somewhere. Above all and in the end I just simply hugely enjoy writing. As I have said before: it truly feeds my soul. So, here goes my story of today about feminism:
At breakfast the other day I read that Kate Middleton (in case you don’t know, she is the Duchess of Cambridge and wife of Prince William) had been admitted to the hospital because she was in the early stages of labor. I spent that day walking, reading and writing and in the early evening of the same day I saw footage of her and her husband standing on the steps of the hospital, people shouting and clapping all around while she held her newborn baby in her arms. She wore a beautiful red dress, shoes with heels and both her makeup and her hair looked amazing. In just a few hours, Kate Middleton went from woman in labor to woman ready for a photoshoot.
How wonderful that I have a blog where I can write whatever I want. Because right now I really feel like writing: What The ****?
I know that for some women, giving birth is something that their bodies seem to kind of…how shall I formulate this…agree with. These women can stand upright and walk freely almost immediately after having given birth. No need for any major medical procedures and the hospital stay after the birth is reduced to a minimum. From the outside, it seems to me that Kate Middleton belongs to this group of women.
But does she? Or does she belong to the group of women to which I also belong? For women like me, directly after having given birth our bodies feel like having traveled to outer space without the proper safety gear. There is no chance of standing up straight and if we try to walk a few steps, we immediately look as if we belong in a retirement home. It would also take a seriously skilled makeup artist and hairdresser to make us look remotely the same as we looked before and after several post-delivery medical procedures we will just have to face the fact that our bodies will forever be changed.
As you might notice a part of me feels a bit provoked by this whole thing. And of course, I am the first to admit that this has to do with a part of me feeling somewhat envious of women for whom giving birth does not have such a major and lasting impact on their bodies afterwards….
This thing of portraying women in this way, it still affects me. I would so very much like to believe that it’s 2018 and that this means that times have changed in our society. That it’s just a given fact to everyone that Kate Middleton doesn’t have to show her newborn baby to the world mere hours after he has been born, looking like she just left a photoshoot. But who knows: perhaps this is something she herself really enjoys?
The writer and actress Lena Dunham who created and starred in the (according to me absolutely brilliant) TV series Girls said:
A huge part of being a feminist is giving other women the freedom to make choices you might not necessarily make yourself.
For me, it remains very hard to grasp why any woman would want to put on a beautiful dress, wear makeup and face a crowd of cheering people with her newborn baby just hours after delivery. But it’s not my (and I believe anyone’s) place to judge what is right and what is wrong. So I agree with Lena Dunham and place a huge value on not judging other women for the way they choose to live their lives.
I will therefore not get into this space of judging other women. And not just women: this naturally goes for all human beings. I believe in Acceptance, Compassion and ultimately: Love. In the end, for me, it really is that simple!
Photo: Sharon McCutcheon – unsplash.com