For over 15 years, people like my stepmother have failed women everywhere.
Many people say feminism is what you make it. We're not meant to be cookie-cutter women, and that's what feminism all about: accepting one another for who we are. If you want to screw half of New York City, you're no less of a feminist. If you want take selfies in your menstrual-soaked undies, you do you. If you want to be a stay-at-home mom, you're still a feminist.
Wrong. There are certain women whose ignorant views set feminists back decades. Let's call them anti-feminists.
When I think of this kind of woman — the anti-feminist — my stepmom instantly comes to mind. My stepmom has comfortably taken on the role of a stay-at-home-mom, refusing to work, while her family struggles to make ends meet. She's the type of woman who beats her man down about the lack of money to get her hair and nails done, but contributes in absolutely no way — and that includes her SAHM duties.
No, she's not just any stay at home mom — she's a Section 8 SAHM. (Section 8 is better known as government housing provided for those who live in poverty. However, for the sake of this discussion I merely mean a "Section 8 mentality" — a person who doesn't mind living off the government. A mother who doesn't mind collecting the food stamps and disability checks, as a supplemental career.)
My real, birth mother (my parents divorced when I was 4) has always shown me the value of being a hard-working single woman. She taught me that any man I choose should be adding and multiplying to who I am as a woman, not supplementing.
My real mother has given me all the tools to grow into a strong, resilient, independent woman; she's my go-to example of a great feminist. My stepmother, on the other hand, is the complete opposite.
For over 15 years my stepmother has failed women everywhere — not because she stayed in an abusive relationship and not because she, like many other women, feared leaving due to finances.
She prolonged an abusive relationship because she's rather sit on her ass — and, well, that's quite another thing. Although she finally found it within her to leave the volatile relationship she was in, she now has her 22-year-old daughter (me) playing house for her: paying her rent, chauffeuring her kids around (in her child's car and on her child's dime), and maintaining her lavish hairstyles.
Her daughter is her stand in "man," and quite honestly, it's disgusting. That's why I disagree with the notion that feminism is one-size-fits-all. If we keep believing that, the word itself will become watered down by people like my stepmother.
Women like this — women who chose to be stay at home moms while their family is forced to shop at consignment shops disguised as department stores — are lazy, period, and set the women's movement back ages.
Because any woman with a morsel of a maternal pride in her body would do everything in her power to make sure her kids had the absolute best. Including working. And if the best is hand-me-downs, then so be it.
Women like my stepmother are, for lack of a better phrase, baby mamas with no drive, morality, or self-respect.
They are many things — but they are not feminists.