15 weeks until my 50th birthday. Last night, the Honorable Ruth Bader Ginsburg died. I’ve never considered myself to be a staunch feminist. I was born in ‘71 in Busan, S. Korea. My parents immigrated to the US in the Fall of ‘74. I grew up with clashing ideals of what constituted an ideal woman.
My mom had given up her career to raise my siblings and me and follow my dad to the States whilst he pursued his career as a classical musician. Back then, in Korea, I’d imagine it unusual that she even had a career to give up. She too was a classical musician, talented and successful at a young age. In fact, she was already teaching by the time she was married and with child (me!).
On the one hand, I believed a good woman took care of her man. Cooking, cleaning, raising children, etc. On the other hand, I began to get to know me. I was a seeker of freedom from an early age. I never liked being told what to do. And I loved being free to ride my bike and shake my booty. Shocker, I know.
In a way, I’m still figuring out what it means to truly become a woman. For me, a life well lived is defining subtlety. Sculpting and refining our thoughts and actions so that they’re aligned with our core selves.
Some things I do know for sure:
• Women’s bodies are not responsible for men’s thoughts. Or anyone else’s thoughts, frankly.
• My body is not an object to control nor be used by anyone who is not me. Consent, people. Clear consent.
• Physical beauty is a myth. It is an arbitrary standard that has changed over time. As a fitness professional, I’m done with upholding the standards that are trending. We should not be valued by the shape and size of a body part. My mission is to uphold standards of health, strength, endurance, power, balance, and JOY for all.
Lastly, and perhaps, most important…
I am here to serve, not to service.
Does this make me a feminist? Not sure. I do know it makes me a grown woman, though. I also still believe there can be a powerful harmony and synergy between men and women. But it takes two enlightened people to tango.
During a partner dance, we define who is the leader and who is the follower, but in practice, especially as one becomes a masterful partner dancer, we learn that the “traditional” lead and follow is constantly switching between partners during the dance. It’s about communication. The clearer and subtler the communication is, the more incredible the experience is. The ultimate connection is moving as one, almost telepathically.
In reality, in relationship, we take on different responsibilities, there is not one role that is less than another. There’s no right way to assign those responsibilities. Choose what is functional and leads to the life you want to live. Learn to communicate more effectively, more descriptively yet with more subtlety.
Rest In Peace, RBG. May your strength, wisdom, and planking skills continue to inspire girls to become women. May those same qualities teach boys not to fear girls but to respect them as equal human beings.