It is a myth that feminists are born into liberal households. As a matter of fact, many of us were brought up in very conservative thinking homes. Feminism is birthed by necessity and many of us who are trailblazers for our families…had no direction. I am the FIRST feminist that I know of on both sides of my family. Mama Michaels was brought up in what I consider to be a conservative religious cult. Her only sense of rebellion was fashion. She’s very liberal on fashion because she was raised to hate her body and being a woman. But her thinking is not too far from the thinking of her mother and her mother’s mother and so on. Almost on a weekly basis, we get into pro life and anti birth control arguments! I make no bones about the fact that I’m pro choice and I pop my pill like it’s bubble gum because I have the right to do so! I’m also the first person in my family that openly believes in LGBTQ rights! My views and my need to maintain my independence without having some man’s name behind mine has family members asking me if I’m a lesbian and when I say no…I get the “you are just too picky!” Surprisingly, it’s the women who show their lack of support the most! The men in my family may not always agree with my thinking and actions but will agree it’s never been done before so they respect it and protect it! It’s not easy being the first to have these radical ideals. Though I do not find them to be radical at all. I find my thoughts and actions to be sensible. Like teaching boys and men NOT TO RAPE verses teaching girls and women not to get raped! I never bought into the notions that women tempt men, a woman must be married to be happy, and a woman must have children to serve her ultimate purpose in life. I do support marriage but feel it should be defined by how each couple see’s fit. And if they don’t believe in it…well power to them. I’m down for children if it were so written in my destiny but I think the thing people find most annoying about me is that neither marriage nor children has me looking, searching, nor hoping. I’ve gotten my heart broken twice in my life and life went on…beautifully. I have been disappointed and even disappointed myself at times but I grew from each and every one of those experiences. I’m a firm believer in GOD’s plan…even when I get frustrated with Him. My love for my independence and travel doesn’t mean I’m less of a woman…it just means I’m a woman that no one can define but myself. There’s no road map to feminism and even within feminists, like anything else, we don’t always see eye to eye. No two feminists are alike. For me, feminism is beauty in freedom, being who we are destined to be naturally, and breaking barriers along the way that fulfill our true purpose in life. There are days when feminism can feel like a burden I carry. It’s not a popular way of thinking and living for a woman in any country. Sometimes I feel like the circus freak that people are watching just to see what I do next…waiting for my demise. But then it occurs to me that I’m the first one in my family! If I ever have children, I will not be passing on the thinking of women in the 1800s! I will be the first to do that! And I’m not independent by force or because I have no husband to support me…I’m independent by CHOICE. I believe in equality for women by CHOICE! And even in the moments when I’m being challenged by my mother and other women in my family, I remember that my sister Brenda is right there listening. I don’t want to fail the generation behind me. I want them to have options and to know that they deserve the life that they and only they choose to live. ~KJM on Flashback Friday.