How My Mother Changed My Views On Feminism

I distinctly remember my mum telling me when I was about 10 that all I needed to do in life was find a rich husband.

And then I watched for years as she let my dad emotionally abuse her.

The man she married because he was a good provider.

And soon enough, he began to emotionally abuse me too, his only child.

He called me every name under the sun - stupid, retarded, good for nothing and told me he wished that I was never born.

She did her best to try and stop the abuse short of leaving him, but to me, it simply wasn’t enough.

And everyone’s response was, “she grew up in a patriarchal society. You can’t blame her because she didn’t know any better.”

Nevertheless, I was angry for a long time that she never left him.

That she didn’t choose to pack her bags in order to protect her child.

Instead, she chose to be a pathetic damsel in distress, leaving her only daughter at the mercy of an emotionally abusive tyrant.

And nothing ever changed, but luckily I grew up and moved out.

But at almost 40 I have only just realised the huge impact it had on my life.

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You are probably thinking now that I decided to never marry, start a business and lead an assault on men.

Wrong.

I did get married, have children, and much like my mum, I let a man financially save me.

But this is where my story differs - and also differs for many women.

At some point, I decided I no longer wanted to be saved, so I started a business to save our family instead.

And my husband chose to quit his job to support my ambitions.

And also take on most of the childcare so I could concentrate on what I do best.

But I won’t get ahead of myself and think I am a fucking hero. Not yet.

Because without his support, there would be no business.

I am not deluded, not even for a minute, to believe I could have done this without him.

He has been my rock, my supporter and carried me through the darkest year of my life.

And without him, I don’t know where I would be.

Yet at times I do feel like packing up my bags, burning my bra and leaving him.

But then I come to my senses.

Life is funny like that.

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It took me 20 years to pluck up the courage to ask my mother the question I so desperately wanted to ask since I was a little girl.

So finally I asked her, why didn’t she leave my dad?

She was shocked at first, but then after a long pause, finally responded with indignation.

“What was I suppose to do? Where was I suppose to go???”

And then as I probed and questioned further,  her story started to change, dramatically.

“He wasn’t that bad." she retorted defensively.

"And I didn’t want to work."

And then it hit me.

She was meek and powerless.

And she was simply NOT up to it.

She needed to be saved.

And no one could ever change that.

Certainly not now at 70.

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I am not entirely sure where this leaves me on the topic of the current feminist movement, but what I have come to the conclusion is that life is many shades of grey.

Nor do I feel that there is a one size fits all solution to all of society’s problems.

So instead, I focus on building a business that helps women live their best life - with health, wealth, love and happiness as the founding principals.

And spread good ideas, nuggets of wisdom and truth bombs what we create.

Because the truth is, you simply cannot empower everybody.

And all we can do is empower those who want to be empowered. 

Do you agree?

Leave us your thoughts below.

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