What do you give that special person who works tirelessly on your behalf day-in and day-out?
If your Instagram bio doesn’t say you’re a feminist, you might be mistaken for a Trump-voting-26-kids-and-counting crazy pants. But many women of our mothers’ generation have a very different conjecture of what a feminist is and refuse to self-identify. But their actions? Well, those can say otherwise.
Here are 10 ways Mom taught you to be badass feminist…even though she swears she isn’t one herself.
1. Insisted that shaving your legs is a “summertime activity.” No one’s touching your legs, anyway!
2. Made you feel like you deserve love regardless of physical appearance. (It would take years of humiliation at the hands of middle school mean girls to get rid of that one, but they did it. Oh, how they did it.)
3. Encouraged you to go commando at bedtime to “air it out down there.”
4. Refused to join the PTA…until the other cool moms started joining the PTA and she knew she must destroy them. For there can only be one cool mom. Another woman’s success means your failure.
5. Went very third wave by embracing your decision to start wearing makeup. In fact, she suggested maybe a little *more* makeup wouldn’t hurt. Maybe even a lot. When she started just leaving compacts of concealer around your room, her unabashed embracing of traditional concepts of femininity really started to sink in.
6. Taught you to lean in by standing up straight. For god’s sake, just stand up straight. Shoulders back, butt in, butt a little further in. Good. The first female president is not going to walk around looking like a troll doll.
7. When you hit 18 and hadn’t even held hands with a boy, she reassured you that it would be just fine if you were a lesbian. Date whoever you want! Just date someone! Just go on one date! Please just get out of the house for 45 minutes.
8. That time the shitty boy at your elementary school twanged your bra or kicked you in the crotch (because it doesn’t hurt on girls!) or did anything else to prove he was a heinous piece of garbage, your mom marched into the Vice Principal’s office to raise hell and insert the fear of god directly into his butthole via her tasteful Cole Haan pumps.
9. Only kind of made you feel weird and fucked up about your relationship with your sexuality when she found you making out with a picture of Heath Ledger* when you were 10 years old.
*Also applies to pictures of Ashton Kutcher. Or Shane West. It happened a lot, frankly.
10. Made sure you worked twice as hard as the boys who were basically rewarded for not eating paste in school K-12. That imposter syndrome you feel at work? In her day, that was called “motivation.”
No matter how accidentally problematic she could be, your mom probably did her best. And in this garbage world, that in and of itself can be a revolutionary act.
Amy Young is an actress, improviser and writer who has toured the country with Second City Theatricals. She currently performs with iO Harold Team Coach and is represented by Actors Talent Group. Follow her on twitter @DailyEmbarrass and find out more at amycyoung.com.