Like some others out there, I never really made a personal connection with Traditional Feminism. The movement always felt totally disconnected from me – remote from my experience and life. But, when a friend of mine recommended that I read the book Lean In I was intrigued. My friend, a successful businesswoman whom I respect tremendously, identifies as a feminist. With this in mind, I figured that if this book guides her views, surely it was worth a read.
After reading the book, I was surprised by the refreshing approach Sheryl Sandberg provides. Instead of the old caricature of the bra-burning feminist, Sheryl illuminates the diversity of the current Feminist movement.
Picture a 1930s-housewife asking her husband for the weekly allowance to buy groceries for the house. Now, fast forward to the era of Traditional Feminism, where women are battling with men to end wage gaps, shatter glass ceilings, and share domestic obligations.
Question: What is the difference between the 1930s-housewife and the Traditional Feminist?
Answer: Very little. In both of these scenarios women are bound by their relationships with men, in that their fate is determined by the choices made by men. In the case of the housewife, she requires sign off from her husband to enact her domestic role, and in the case of the Traditional Feminist, she fights for equality on a battleground presided upon by only men.
To be clear, I do believe in equality — that both men and women should be paid the same for equal work, both should be given equal opportunity in the workplace, and that both should share household chores and parenting duties. However, I do not think that the solution is to demonize men for the current state of the world’s imbalances.
This is why I connect with Lean In when I failed to identify with the heart of the Tradition Feminist movement. While Traditional Feminism seems to demand that men change their ways in order for women to gain equality, Lean In challenges women and allies to improve the system, even if they aren’t personally responsible for the problem. Isn’t that the ultimate empowerment? Proclaiming, “women didn’t build this broken system, but we’ll be part of the solution.” If the goal of Feminism is to right imbalances and provide equal opportunity between the sexes, then it’s paramount that our community – women and men alike – make active choices for change, instead of simply reacting to the choices and actions of a historically male-dominated culture.
About the author: Moshe is an in-home personal trainer, nutrition consultant and Fascial Stretch Therapist. He has been certified in various training methods, including kettlebell training, boxing fundamentals and TRX. Moshe has worked with people of varying fitness backgrounds, ages, and lifestyles, and believes that no matter the fitness level, everyone has the ability to live a healthier, happier life. He loves the challenge of helping people reach their fitness goals in fun and interactive ways.
Prior to becoming a personal trainer, Moshe spent five years in marketing, where he worked on accounts such as Volkswagen Canada and Sony Pictures. This has given him an appreciation for the challenges that many people face, trying to balance a healthy lifestyle with corporate ambition.
In his spare time, Moshe enjoys reading, bowling and spending time with his wife and three daughters. He can be reached at email@example.com.