By Michelle Lin
Women’s History Month is a time when the power of women and gender equality is widely celebrated. English teacher Peggy Lee is a strong representation of women today, not only having welcomed her newborn baby boy into her life this past year and experiencing the hardships of motherhood, but also having realized the misconceptions of both feminism and gender roles in society.
“I went on maternity leave for a semester,” explains Ms. Lee. “The experience is tough. There’s moments of the responsibilities that I don’t love. This doesn’t mean I don’t love my child, but I don’t love everything that goes with motherhood.”
After raising her now one-year-old son, Ms. Lee has reflected upon her own experiences and the idea of feminism with careful consideration.
“I really think feminism is about ‘togetherness,’” says Ms. Lee. “It’s about equality, equity, embracing who we are. It’s about being free.”
Her husband shares the burden of raising their child, a key piece of what feminists today should be working towards, according to Ms. Lee.
“(My husband) never defines that these are the things a mom does, or these are the things a dad does,” elaborates Ms. Lee. “He just defines it as ‘we are the parents, and these are the things that parents do to bring up a child.’ It really bothers me when some people define feminism as separation of genders.”
With a perspective on feminism different from what is generally portrayed by the conservative media, Ms. Lee hopes to find the more human side of feminism by educating people on a more inclusive way to view it.
“The feminists before me that have mentored me have all been about kindness and showing me how to speak up and not be afraid. They never tore other women and men down, and I just really respect that,” remarks Ms. Lee.
Women’s History Month has been all about promoting gender equality and kindness within society.
“We don’t celebrate great contributions to society as much as we want,” admits Ms. Lee. “So if it takes a month to celebrate women, that’s pretty fabulous, I think.”