I work in an environment with quite a few self proclaimed feminists. Not a big deal, it's not like I'm not a sort of feminist myself (what woman isn't to some degree these days, right?). But there are times when I just really don't feel like I belong, or that I can't speak up with my opinions because I feel like I would have to make excuses for the way I am.
Here's the way I am. I believe that everyone should be treated with respect--no matter who they are, what sex they are, where they are from, what they believe. I don't think everyone should be treated exactly the same, however. I am a woman and I take pride in my femininity--I don't want to be treated like a man! I wouldn't treat two children exactly the same, or two friends. It would be like living in some weird version of Stepford, or like the world in A Wrinkle in Time where everyone does everything at exactly the same time as everyone else, and they live in the exact same house. People aren't carbon copies of each other, so why would we treat them as such? Anyway, tangent. Like I said, I take pride in being a woman. And mostly I'm a bit of a traditionalist when it comes to women's roles. I want to get married and be a mother. I don't want to work while I'm raising my kids, if it's possible. I'm going to add my husband's last name to my name (my idea is to just move my family name to a second middle name, so I'll have four names). I will probably cook and clean and do the laundry, preferably with my husband's help, but if he does all the yard work and maintenance around the house, I think that's a fair trade. I'm not much into sewing, though I have been learning a little. I don't mind wearing a skirt and high heels--I like looking nice, but I also like wearing sweats and t-shirts.
The thing is, I shouldn't have to make excuses or feel bad the way I am. The way I see it, isn't the whole point of feminism is that women have a choice. They can choose to be high powered business women, or they can choose to be stay at home moms who have all out craft rooms and make new recipes every day, or they can be sports fanatics and tomboys. We can be whoever we want to be, and we should never feel sorry for that.
I try to understand the thoughts and feelings of others (even if they may make me uncomfortable), and I would like to feel like I will be understood and respected for my thoughts and views of my femininity--the choice I made.