the she series: feminism in french

Caroline is my token French friend. Is that a thing? Either way, I’ve made it one. She may not think we’re really great friends yet because we’ve just become co-workers, but we follow each other on Instagram and she invites me to eat lunch with her sometimes, so I’m counting it.

Caroline recently switched careers to do something she really loves, which is how she ended up as my co-worker. I find this awesome not only for the courage it takes to do this, but for the hard work she puts in behind the scenes to really learn and excel at her new career choice. It is very motivating.

I also like her because she’s logical and honest when you need her to be, but has a very mature level of tact I hope to achieve when I really grow up. Just a few reasons why I was excited to hear her French-girl thoughts on these woman topics. Plus, I read them all in my head with a French accent, which was pretty fun.

ccsarretteprints
Illustration by Caroline

 

Family & Motherhood

I don’t think we have enough visibility on how kids turn out in conventional families vs non-conventional families to really judge what’s best. Beyond extreme or abusive family situations, I think most people have predispositions they are born with that will influence their life more than the family structure. I think as long as there is love, carefulness, respect, and a certain level of education, people have more chances to become balanced adults.

I am not a mother myself so my views are limited on that aspect. It must be one of the scariest/most responsible things to go through, although I do wish to experience it one day. I believe in the role of the a mother greatly. For a baby we are everything: their food, their carrier, their survival, so it has to create a deep connection.

I would like to go back to work soon after the birth personally. At least this is where I stand right now, but will see once I actually have one. 😉 I think there is no right or wrong answer here though, I’d say it is a personality thing.

Education & Equality

Women fought for their rights for an education and an equal job market for decades and centuries, so I would hope they take advantage of the opportunities that came out of it now and don’t take it for granted. EVER! I believe in education and I personally love staying on top of the trends. At the same time, I don’t think society or history should pressure women to get a college education if they do not feel like they need one, the same goes for men.

The major reason why I think women should get an education is because you cannot rely solely on a man your whole life. You never know what the future holds, and having an education and being able to get back on your feet quickly is also important. You need to feel independent, and that no matter what happens you will be ok.

Gender inequality drives me a little nuts, frankly. I think this tendency of feeling inferior is ingrained in us (women) and we do not know how to sell ourselves the way men do. I think we need to switch this because today more than ever we can claim more, and we should. We do not push it because that’s how we were raised. Centuries of oppressions will definitely take a toll on anyone and it is hard to switch the trend. But I think today we can do this, and if you come across a man who does not make you feel equal, personally or professionally, move on fast–you do not have to accept it.

I have dated machos and it feels wrong and unfair at times. Workwise, I take my chances and go, go, go, so I have always felt quite satisfied and never felt unfairly treated in the workplace. Sure, in the streets sometimes it can be terrible with the catcalling. Not unfair though, just uncomfortable. There is no correct reaction–if you are nice they keep at it, if you are rude they get rude. When I lived in London, that was one thing that was pretty great; there was no catcalling.

One of my biggest hatreds is all these dating apps, especially when living in a city like NY. They seem a lot more male orientated and I think that’s unfair. There are already more women than men in big cities like NY so the competition is rough, but now we are also at the mercy of these apps. Some women say they don’t mind it, but I do. I am a woman, and I am sentimental, and one-night stands don’t really do it for me. They don’t make me feel particularly good, and I feel these apps are primarily tailored for men who are ok with one-night stands.

I think women changed and adapted themselves to suit this type of dating (or maybe the new generation is more open minded than me) so they agree to this and validate the behavior, but I am not sure it makes them happy. Although I’ve heard of stories that started on dating apps and ended in marriages, so everything is possible.

Feminism

Am I a feminist? I am always scared of that question, but I want to say yes to it. Today more than ever. Don’t get me wrong, I love men (there are many good ones out there).

I am a feminist because it’s time for men’s mentality to change fundamentally. Stop saying you don’t know how to clean because you are a man, stop saying you cannot multitask because you are a man, stop finding excuses for yourself because you are a man. We all know you are smart beings (you have proved it in the past), so I am sure you can figure it out and be fair to women. But again, this is engrained into us, so it’s a long changing process on either side.

Feminism is a reactionary movement and I get that, although I do believe men and women are complementary. I think we need to help each other. I don’t want a gender war. You know, I love being a woman. I think being a woman is simply awesome. It may be difficult at times, but life is hard on all of us.

I would also like for women to be more supportive towards each other. There is still a lot of cat fights out there. “This one is prettier, more successful, married richer…” Who cares. You’re putting your energy in the wrong place. Put your energy into making something and realizing yourself, not on hating on others. There will always be prettier, younger, richer women–you can’t control that. You can control you, and what you want to achieve. Focus on that and everything else will be ok.

For me, I cheer for women who work their asses off and succeed professionally because they totally deserve it. I believe in working hard and that it will bring you success. I look up to these women. I find them fulfilling their career very inspiring. I listen to them. I looked up to Mara Hoffman at some point. But there are many of them out there I admire that may not be as famous. I love women like Breanna Rose or Lindsay Humes–designers that are working their butts off out of passion for the art. They are totally kick-ass and I love their work and their passion.

A question for the female readers:

Why do we hate on each other so much? Why are we always so competitive and insecure in that way?

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If you’d like to check out Caroline’s kick-ass work, here’s her website and Instagram account (she’s already sold some of her patterns to fashion brands!).


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