Sometimes I feel like I suck at being a woman.

And, no, I’m not looking to change that biological fact about me, but I just feel that I’m not “feminist” enough for other gals.

The thing is, I don’t feel like I suck as a parent. I mean, yes, I mess up. I mess up a lot. But, overall, I believe I am an excellent guardian to my little chiclets and am raising them to be good people.

I also don’t feel like I suck as a wife. I’m definitely not amazing, and I rarely exceed, let alone meet, any of the expectations my husband has for me and our relationship, but I’m a pretty fun lady, and I put up with his antics, so I think he is content.

I’ve never been a “girl’s girl” though, and I’m not sure why that is.

Actually, I do know why that is, but it sucks to admit. You see, I’m not very confident. Yep, me, who blogs about my opinion on things all the freakin’ time, is self-conscious.

About what, you ask?

Everything from my facial features to my thighs to my lack of knowledge and understanding of current events which I blame on the three little monkeys that occupy my arms, mind, and heart every minute of the goddamn day.

Oh yeah, and my not qualifying as a feminist amongst other feminists.

Who are feminists? Let’s dig a little deeper into that.

The Oxford Living Dictionary defines a “feminist” as a person who supports “feminism” which is the “advocacy of women’s rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes.”

SO, according to this definition, I, thank the good LORD, am a feminist. Of course, I unwaveringly support equality of the sexes. But, sadly, that doesn’t suffice and qualify me as a feminist to a lot of other women.

It seems that to be a feminist who other feminists can relate to these days, I must be ridiculously vocal, almost annoyingly preachy, diehard in my convictions and uber-confident.

That’s not me. It has never been and it never will.

I’m not ridiculously vocal about anything unless I am behind my keyboard and I’m not one to preach in public about any of my opinions.

I am also anything but overly self-aware.

But, I do hold diehard convictions, and they are as follows:

The basic crux of the beliefs I adhere to is that as human beings, we must be kind to one another.

We must be open to one another.

We must listen to one another.

We must respect one another.

We must work together with one another.

And, yes, of course, I hold steadfast to the notion that everyone, man or woman, young or old, black or white, are all equal.

But, I won’t shout from the rooftops that women should receive equal pay.

I won’t shout from the rooftops that discrimination against females is messed up.

I won’t shout from the rooftops that any kind of abuse against women is wrong.

I won’t shout from the rooftops that this is the “year of the woman”.

And, if I haven’t already lost you as a reader yet, I will tell you why.

I won’t shout those things in the name of feminism because I believe ALL people deserve all of those things, not just women.

Now you may say that women are the only ones getting the short end of the stick, but I feel like that’s a big generalization.

I feel like there are a lot of people, men included, that very much support the equality of women. I also think that there are so many, I repeat, so many women who are making strides for our gender and us as human beings.

For me, my nature is to focus on those women and to take my less-knowledgable opinion out of the mix, so as not to clutter the air with my wimpy voice. I want to let those women who have strong opinions and who are damn good at voicing them in a way that gets them heard and earns them respect, do what they do. Because, me, I’m not always good at that, and I’m OK with admitting that.

Let me conclude with this for the one reader who has not stopped scrolling and unsubscribed to my site out of anger toward me and disappointment in me:

In my home, I always knew my worth. My parents would tell me how strong, intelligent and capable I was. I grew up wholeheartedly convinced that I could do anything a boy/man could do and more often than not, I would do it better.

2018 may be the “year of the woman” but in my mind, every year is the year of the woman. Every year so many women make me proud.

Some women are inventing.

Some women are creating.

Some women are building.

Some women are teaching.

Some women are curing.

Some women are birthing.

Some women are working.

Some women are raising.

Some women, who have been knocked down and got right back up as if to say “not me and not today” are still standing.

These are the women I like to think about because these women are all of us.

So, if I seem to quiet down and step to the side when you come into view, it is not because I am not feminist enough and it is not because I don’t care about the issues our gender is facing. My silence and space are because I want to get out of your way and make room for your voice to be heard and appreciated.

I may not be willing to shout feminist remarks off the rooftop with you, but I sure as hell will move out of your way so you can.

Originally published on Reverb Press

Nicole Merritt

Nicole Merritt is a mother of three and the Owner and Founder of jthreeNMe, an imperfectly authentic peek at real-life marriage, parenting, and self-improvement. jthreeNMe is raw, honest, empowering, inspiring, and entertaining; it’s like chicken soup for those that are exhausted, over-stressed and under-inebriated, yet still utterly happy. Nicole's work has been featured by Scary Mommy, The Good Men Project, BLUNTmoms, Thought Catalog, Everyday Family, Motherly & many others. You can follow Nicole at jthreeNMe and on FacebookPinterestInstagram & Twitter!