So, I decided to make this week a fun Girl's Week. We kicked it off with a Saturday getaway with just me and my oldest girls. A Saturday full of selfies. :)
We headed out to the Seneca Falls Women's Rights National Historic Park. We got there just in time to hear Ms Harriet Tubman herself...
I believe with my soul-- not because I am oppressed, not because I am unable to get a high-paying job, not because I am deceived into Mormon indoctrination-- my whole soul tells me that being a woman, a wife, and a mother is a great work.
I was SO excited to share this little piece of history with my daughters. I read the walls hopefully at first waiting to feel the power of women! I know that power. I re-read cautiously the second time around, and absolutely disgusted the third time through.
To be honest- this "Women's Rights" museum was the most anti-woman place I have EVER been in. I drove an hour and a half hoping to give my daughters a feeling of their potential and ability to lead in this world-- and what I found were constant, ridiculous charges that women were "unequal" and "repressed" if they chose to be a wife and mother, or a teacher, or any of the historically "female" life roles. Heaven these displays even suggested little girls were repressed if they played with dolls, wore dresses or makeup, or wanted to be a teacher when they grew up. Put your face here, they said, you can be a fireman someday.
You do not need to demean women's choices as you open the door for women's opportunity to choose.
I heard Seneca Falls was a place choosen to represent Women's Rights because it is where an American Indian Tribe dwelt that had women sit in leadership councils. That was a cool story that I never found in the "Historic Park"-- it must have been hidden behind blaring signs like this...
Yes- this says "Myth- Mother's are Special".
(This picture swings open, which I found the second time through, and quotes a domestic violence statistic. But this display is NOT anti-domestic violence. It is anti-motherhood.)
The whole exhibit was like this.
I believe we each have different life missions. Perhaps another women would be living her fullest life by working and earning an income.
These quotes were examples of the repressive history that the Women's Movement saved us from.
Men, in this building, were painted as oppressors. Comments scrawled on the "What does Women's Rights mean to you?" board ranged from "Men are scum" to "the right to be treated by men the way men treat other men". I'm sorry- this is just not my cup of tea. I proudly wrote my two cents-- "Men do not need to be degraded inorder for women to be valued."
I don't believe "Women will never be equal until they hold their own purse."
I don't believe MOST of the propaganda I read on the walls at the museum I was hoping to feel valued and empowered in.
Perhaps I'm STILL missing something- but feminism seems to me to be the most anti-motherhood, anti-choice, anti-man ideals that I have ever encountered.
I am a strong, intelligent, powerful woman. I'm thankful I can vote. I have chosen the "traditional" role of wife and mother because I believe it is the BEST use of my life. I do not earn money- but I am of value.
(I am actually FOR equal rights for women. I did not see women's rights being talked about, I saw a war on women's roles.)
Perhaps some women will never be given the opportunity or will not choose to be a wife or mother. I do not condemn these women in their choice at all-- and I demand equal respect in mine.
Feminism- as I saw it in the Seneca Falls Women's Rights Museum, was not pro-women's rights. It was pro-male sameness. It didn't promote the equal treatment of women, it promoted the SAME employment for women. It touted loudly "Women's Rights" while it's walls were covered with the most anti-woman rhetoric I have ever encountered! This place came highly recommended to me, from many sources. I was caught off gaurd, surprised by what I saw, and sorely disappointed.
Really women? Really? We can't create a place that celebrates womanhood and highlights the influence of great women throughout history without demeaning the greatest power we have? This is a NATIONAL historic park. Women are better than this. Maybe they needed a few traditional mothers on their design committee- I'm certain we could have spent taxpayer money to create a better exhibit.
Mothers ARE special. Traditional mothers, who choose not to work and are cared for by men who cherish them, not only feel equal- we feel honored in our role.
I didn't expect a Women's Museum to particularly herald stay at home mothers- but I was not prepared to feel like these "women" were SO wrong. They are trading true value for things that are of very little worth.
In an effort to save women from abuse and tyranny, they fight against "traditional womanhood". Um, no. Perhaps we should fight against abuse and tyranny.
Perhaps instead of fighting womanhood or feminity itself, instead of fighting against marriage and motherhood, we can fight abuse, evil, and immorality. This is the only Women's Rights movement I would support. We don't need to trade inequality for deception.
I did buy a book of famous historical feminist writings-- I will read it TRYING again to see the good in this ever so popular movement. So far, feminism continues to disappoint me. Women-- we are better than this.
We can be equal without divisiveness. We have power as women without demeaning men. We don't need to fight all that is true as we fight evil. We can be a voice for goodness, fair treatment, and equality without being a voice of enmity, male-bashing, and anti-motherhood.
This place was full of beauty, love and inspiration. We toured old farm houses and watched videos on family life that rang true to my soul.
I believe homes are sacred.
I believe families (not pay checks) are eternal.
I believe that even when laws or nations are corrupt and unequal, we can create a home of love, equality, and goodness.
Small acts of bravery and charity at home, in your community, and in your nations- make a difference.
I felt inspired at this simple farm house, where a woman, quietly serving her family and friends, was given an angelic vision.
My girls felt it too- they felt inspired and happy.
We bought gold paint to add some stripes to their walls... and, we've got fun plans for our week without the boys.
(We may build ourselves a dog house.)
We ended with the most delicious meal in Skeneatles. Good food, good conversation, and beloved time with my best friends.
What a lovely day.
I love being a motherly, beautiful, feminine, traditional woman.
There is nothing I'd rather spend all my time and energy doing well.
I feel lucky to be home with my kids.
I feel blessed to be able to spend the money Todd earns.
I hope women everywhere feel as valued and empowered as I do.
I hope, whatever my daughters choose to do with their life, they choose with wisdom, power, and truth.
Women-- we have the potential to do a great work.
We are powerful.
We are equal.
Our role is holy and divine.
Our life can be so good.
I know it.