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ERMA BOMBECK: A FEMINIST OR A WOMAN TRYING TO RAISE HER KIDS?

My mother was a feminist. I can’t blame her though, I really can’t. She was born in 1940 the oldest of 4 girls. Her father sent her to college even though his friends told him he was wasting his money.

My mother wanted to be an accountant. Her guidance counselor at Kansas State University told her that she couldn’t. Women could only be teachers, secretaries, or nurses. My mother fainted at the sight of blood so she chose to be a teacher. When I majored in Accounting and earned my CPA license, my mother was literally bursting with pride. I am sure she felt I accomplished several milestones that she was denied.

My mother loved Erma Bombeck and considered her a feminist as well. Erma went to work, put money in the bank, and raised her kids. My mother taught me to love Erma Bombeck for the same reasons. I learned to admire Erma because she was a published author, a mainstage speaker. She was a success in the world’s eyes, so she was a success in my mother’s eyes. This made her a success in my eyes as well.

And then I grew up and I got married and began raising my own family. I have to be honest-I didn’t care to be a so-called feminist and change the world. I just wanted to raise my kids, try not to traumatize them too terribly, and get a good night’s sleep. #realisticgoals

I got to thinking back to my upbringing and I don’t think Erma Bombeck considered herself a feminist at all. The definition of feminism is the belief in or advocacy of women’s social, political, and economic rights, especially with regard to equality of the sexes. I just don’t think Erma worried about all that.

I see that in my mom’s eyes Erma channeled feminism because she had broken that elusive glass ceiling. She was her own boss. But I don’t think Erma believed that was her greatest achievement. I think Erma believed raising her kids was her greatest achievement. I think she believed her books were a manuscript of her struggles and successes.

I for one am thrilled Erma put her reality to pen and paper. She is just a girl, putting herself out there, for all of us to love and relate to. Have you read Erma’s books? I challenge you to do that. If you’re pressed for time, just read some of her book titles:

· If Life is a Bowl of Cherries What Am I Doing in the Pits?

· At Wit’s End

· Family-the Ties that Bind….and Gag

· The Grass is Always Greener over the Septic Tank

· Motherhood: The Second Oldest Profession

This woman isn’t a feminist-she’s a wife and mother trying to survive. She’s one of us! I truly think that we should stop trying to be what we think the world wants us to be. Let’s just be moms. Let the world figure out who we are, because we already know. We are daughters of the One True King. Fallen and yet saved by Grace. So loved and never forgotten. Even when we forget to pick up the dry cleaning and our family wears clothes pulled out of the dirty clothes basket.

I always find a lesson to be learned in all my past deeds. I haven’t revealed any past deeds in this post, except that I used to think I was a feminist. But now I recognize I am a daughter.

Please comment and let me know your thoughts on this post. Let me know if you have or plan to read any of her articles or books. She is a treasure!

You can buy Erma Bombeck books here

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