I have been blessed with three little girls and with that comes a certain responsibility to help them understand our past, present and future as women. My girls are growing up in a world that our grandmothers only imagined. I don't know how my Great Grandmother (Gram) felt about women's rights, but my Mother believed in "whatever men can do, women can do better." I remember feeling semi-superior to my brother, who could not be a woman. I knew nothing of feminist theory until college, and I don't feel my high school helped to promote under-represented professional areas as a viable option for women.In fact; even into the 1990's teaching was still dominated by women, while politics and the sciences were still lacking women professionals.
I felt that the whole world was available to me, and yet, where did I end up- teaching. I am not discounting my career choice or my experience, as I truly chose my life but I wonder how girls of today feel. So many images still display very outdated ideas of the feminine, that which makes a woman a woman. Indeed, men and women are different - we have different chromosomes, our bodies are physically different but how much of who we are is nature or nurture is still debatable. Personally, I feel that embracing that which is feminine, that which makes us women is unique to each individual female. To define it in terms that fit me, wouldn't be useful as it would only serve to divide rather than unite since each woman would either accept the given definition or they would discount it. I doubt there is a universal truth of women, even childbearing isn't a given, nor should it be.
Still, the important work of our Mothers' continues and the next generation will take the torch and move the women's movement forward.