Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Feminism, the West, and Me

A few weeks back, I was listening to my ipod on random and pondering the woes of dating when Johnny Cash's song "I Walk the Line" began to play. The man in black seemed the perfect voice to express my disenchantment with love, but while listening, I found strength and resolve instead of deeper melancholy. He sang,"Because you're mine, I walk the line." I decided that that line was probably the most romantic thing a guy could say. If a guy said that to me and really meant it, I'd probably melt. It would also be beneficial if that guy said it in a deep, Johnny-Cash-like voice, but let's face it, not every guy can be Johnny Cash. Anyway, I stored that line in the romantic dream compartment of my brain and continued on with my life.

I might have heard that song a few more times and each time I returned to the thought, I want a guy to say that to me
but it wasn't until after a discussion in my American Autobiography class that I even thought about why I found Johnny Cash and that song so romantic. You see, in my class we do talk about various American autobiographers, but we also discuss what makes an autobiography and how we perform autobiographical acts. That day, we had talked about how we write our own narratives and how those are informed by the world around us.

I often proclaim myself a feminist, but my feminism is different from another person's. My feminism is formed from the examples of strong women in my family and in the strong ranch women type that Western ideals have created. In other words, I think a feminist is a strong woman and a strong woman to me is someone who sticks to her beliefs and fights for her dreams. That does not mean she wants to be just like a man or that she necessarily wants to even compete with men. She can be a soccer mom or whatever else she wants to be, but that's the qualifier--a strong woman lives her life the way she wants to. I'm not physically very strong, but I am resolved to get my education and to raise a family according to my beliefs. So when I write in my journal or even on this blog, I write with the strong woman in mind. When I face trials, I think about being a strong woman. And to bring it back to Johnny Cash, when I decide what is romantic to me, the strong woman inside tells me that the man I want will work just as hard as I do for his dreams and beliefs.