My best friend and I were discussing our daughters’ birthday plans and we had this discussion:
BFF (L): She’s into my least favorite princess, Ariel, so that’s the theme.
Me (C): Ha ha. What do you have against Ariel except that she was willing to give up her voice for some dumb guy?
L: I cannot find a good part of the Ariel story, other than Sebastian and Flounder are awesome friends who stuck by her side even when she made bad choices.
C: I think they’re enablers.
L: She made a contract she didn’t uphold (granted, Ursula bamboozled her) and then her dad had to give up everything to save her. I’m so not into her. At least the other princesses had someone treat them unfairly.
C: She really is the worst princess, isn’t she? At least her music was catchy.
And then I laughed. Having feminist mommies means our girls will endure eyerolls when they express a love for Ariel. Sure Ariel, you have beautiful red hair, Prince Eric has dreamy hair and walking on the beach is great, but girl, let your sisters talk some sense into you!
I used to waffle when I was asked if I was a feminist. I’d say that I didn’t like the term. That it sounds too harsh. I’d clarify that I’m not a man-hater. That I wear a bra. That I’m no femi-nazi.
But no more.
I look at my beautiful two-year-old daughter and want better for her.
I often think of how far things have come. We are fighting much subtler battles today, but they are still battles. The work isn’t done.
So now when asked, “are you a feminist?” I proudly reply, “yeah. Absolutely.”
And poor dear daughter, I’ll be like Julia in Parenthood and cringe when you want to be Miss California for Halloween. I’ve already started crocheting a beautiful collar for you to wear with your robe when you’re the Notorious RBG.
Emma Watson: “Are you a feminist?”
Lin-Manuel Miranda: “Yeah. Absolutely.”