Standing in the center ring and representing the Conservatives, folks, it’s Meghan Trainor and Eva Mendez. Their opponents, The Feminists. The winner takes all since, in this very tolerant country of ours, there can only be one “right” way of doing things. Isn’t that so?
It seems that way given the deafening shrieks of absolute horror that both women have evoked across the nation of late. No doubt, their unguarded words have given rise to the groundless fear that the clocks keeping time and watch over the women’s liberation movement may, very well, be turning back a bit and that scares the hell out of many women sitting on opposite sides of the pendulum.
Settle down, my friends. I guarantee that nary a clock will be winding its hands backwards anytime soon. That bell has tolled, just as it has on this ridiculous fight that continues to divde a nation full of women into two fanatical camps, both of which hang on every word of the other.
Don’t we have enough to do these days than to cut and splice every last syllable of a passing comment, when the woman who happened to make it is living with and shares a baby with a partner she may or may not marry eventually. Lest we forget that actions speak louder than words. I fail to see why one woman’s personal opinion caused such an enormous backlash from so many liberal women when Eva Mendez’s actual behavior represents nothing further from “Conservative” thinking.
Same goes for Meghan Trainor. The underlying meaning of her song “Dear Future Husband” is no different from that which we laughed at in the movie “My Big Fat Greek Wedding.” The conversation between Toula and her mother, which led to Toula’s father agreeing to let Toula begin taking classes at the local college, made everyone in the audience snicker silently to themselves. Without question, many a truth is said in jest. The fact that this truth made its way into a comedy was one of the reasons this movie became such a memorable success.
At the same time, whether we, women, want to admit it or not, “Dear Future Husband” bares some truth as well. That said, it is a truth that many, many of the female gender (regardless of allegience) is not so proud of – a forced reaction to circumstances we once knew, long want to forget, and have fought very hard to liberate ourselves from.
Mrs. Portokalos was not content to let Toula live out her same reality, and I highly doubt Meghan Trainor thinks differently as she continues to try to push the envelope every which way she can. Meghan Trainor is writing her own rules, and she is doing so loudly. Those are not the actions of a girl whose true intention is to Pied Piper young women into reverse no matter what her recent tune might suggest.
That said, accepting the fact that every woman has the right to define what the word “liberation” means to her, and, in that, live out her life according to this definition without criticism or consequence should be one goal all women would do well to come together on. That achievement alone would be liberating. It would also be highly beneficial as women continue to strive for further equality. To ask a nation to “sign on” when we, ourselves, fail to accept the fact that all women are equal regardless of personal lifestyle choice is a bit hypocritical in my book.
If you ask me, I hasten to believe that, today, most women pull a little from both sides when crafting what’s right for them – in their lives and in their relationships. Very few women actually remain bound to a hard line whether they care to admit it or not. We step, we grow, we realize, we adjust; we step, we grow, we realize, we adjust and so on. Reality seems to force us to bend like the willow as oppose to stand rigid like the oak tree less we snap in the winds of daily change.
My own unique journey would have snapped me in two had I not learned to keep an open mind and adjust choices and behavior according to necessity. A young widow with four little kids to raise and two failing companies left to me to figure out what to do with, those circumstances spared me little time to spend judging other women. Needless-to-say, when I emerged, finally, from the fire storm that be my life some 12 years later, I did so with a incredible appreciation for how strong and capable women could actually be, and I continue to be reminded of that fact, first-hand, as I watch my own daughters evolve into the women they are destined to become.
My hope for my daughters is that they proceed in their own lives in a manner that suits them. What that looks like, they can only define. My job is to support them in their decisions, not unlike all women should, currently, be doing with each other and their daughters. This isn’t to say that sharing our personal wisdom, experience, and beliefs should be wholly refrained from. It means that we should do so without expectation, pressure or intolerance.
It is without question that a “one-size-fits-all” mentality is the quickest way to turn back the clocks on the progress we have made in “liberating” women. By adhering to and prolonging the “fight” internally, we do nothing more than prolong it externally as well. It’s a choice that is rather counterproductive in nature and borders on the petty – with nothing good to come from it except for those committed to the alternate agenda of keeping women down. I fail to see the progress in that result for any woman.
Such is the case, whether you are Feminist, Conservative or sit somewhere in the middle, we need to do a better job of accepting, understanding, and living alongside each other as women and as examples for the larger world. Never in our history has there been a more critical need for positive examples than today. Given we choose to uphold “Peace” before we uphold “Agenda,” we might just find that we set the tone for others coping with equally, or more, challenging issues.
We’ve already seen many of the ramifications that come from doing the reverse. It’s a recipe for disaster…sorta like that pie Miss (Ms.) Trainor destroyed in her cleverly orchestrated and immensely entertaining video. The girl might not be able to cook, but she’s certainly a master chef at whipping up a little controversy now and again. Isn’t she?
This post first appeared on The Blaze by Laura Wellington.