Before we go any further, I want to clarify that I'm a proud feminist. I happily participate in the work force, and I am thrilled to carry at least my share of the appropriate rage against a crooked societal machine that favors men over women. I support the strong, independent, and intellectual women of the world; I believe in the equality of men and women, and put a not-small amount of time and energy into rooting out the ways in which that gender equality manifests itself both in my life and the world-at-large; I want to undo all of those things, and I want to build new things in their place that advantage everyone, and protect the needs and rights of all humans.
I also hate defending the fact that I'm a feminist (which I don't think anyone should ever have to do), but given what I'm about to say, I often find myself needing to do exactly that. So here's my big, dark, feminist secret: As much as I love to crotch-kick the patriarchy, I also love to curl up in a set of flannel pajamas with a cucumber mask on my face while buried deep inside the pages of a Better Homes & Gardens magazine.
Yes, it's true: I have a domestic side that I'm somewhat afraid to share with the world for fear of being judged as a lackadaisical or hypocritical feminist. But why? Why can't I combine the forces of my eye for the perfect area rug with my desire to push for women's rights? Well, the truth is, we can.
Loving things that have been commonly associated with regressive gender politics — cooking, cleaning, gardening, throw pillows, etc. — does not equate to an endorsement of those gender politics.
It's possible to be a feminist without needing to Let's not throw out the fresh-baked biscuits with the sexist bathwater...or something.
In an effort to merge the sides of my personality, I'm going to stop apologizing to my feminist side for my domestic side. I'm not sorry that my living room looks like the perfect retro beach house, or that getting it to the point took a few too many trips to Target. And I'm not sorry that I loved those trips to Target. I'm also not sorry that I think women deserve equal pay for equal work, or the right to make their own decisions regarding their own bodies.
And I'm definitely not sorry that I refuse to build my life and choose my tastes and interests based on what makes other people feel more comfortable about being able to judge how much of a feminist I am just from looking at me in superficial ways.
Call me crazy, but I think we can meet in the middle here. I don't need to apologize for being a multifaceted woman, for loving politics and throw pillows simultaneously and neither do you.