Over the weekend, I was watching a movie entitled "Hanging Up," starring Meg Ryan, Diane Keaton, and Lisa Kudrow. I don't usually pick up this kind of movie. But my husband and I are trying to watch every single Meg Ryan movie out there so we can proudly say we've completed the MEGathon. Anyway, the three women play sisters who are each coping (in their own way) with their father's deteriorating condition. We learn that the father has never quite gotten over being left by his wife, which happened years and years ago. Over the years, he becomes belligerent, rude, and just downright nasty especially when he's drunk.
At one point, Meg Ryan decided to visit her mother to beg her to return home and make their family whole again. The mother's response was something to the tune of: "Everyone was having babies back then. I thought I would by happy too if I had a baby. If I got into motherhood. It turns out, I'm not that kind of person." And that struck me.
Rarely do we see movies that portray that kind of reality. Probably because it's painful. And most likely because it's true. I've met many women who have told me that motherhood isn't as amazing as society seems to portray it. There's the everyday mundaneness and repetitiveness of training a child. There's a lot of sacrifice. There's a lot of noise, mess, and a lot of sleepless nights. I've met women who wished they waited until they had thought more about having children. I've met women who wished they could have had abortion as a legal option. I've met women who wished they had a choice.
I dread using the word "feminist" because it brings up a lot of awful connotations. I am a woman. Plain and simple.To be a woman means I do have choices. To be a woman means that I can pursue whatever dreams I have. I can go to university. I can open up a shop. I can read and watch whatever my heart desires. I can choose whom I marry (if I am so inclined to do so), and I can choose whether or not I want to be a mother. To be a woman means I am allowed to speak my thoughts. To be a woman means I can think for myself.
I am a woman. And I have a duty to afford those choices to every single woman now and in the future.