If recent, the topic of “feminism” has come up quite a bit in conversation with my female friends. And I have a feeling it’ll keep coming up again, and again and again, especially as we’re stepping out of the relative bubble of school and into the everyday world.

I tend to look back at my old articles – either to see if/how much my opinions have changed, or for inspiration as I stare bleakly at an empty page and a blinking cursor. And I found one article from two years ago, where I wrote about “feminism today”. In the first paragraph I wrote about how this new wave of “feminism” casts the modern woman as this man-hating, alpha devoid of traditional “feminine” qualities and that it was ironic that Gloria Steinem, one of the founders of the modern feminism movement was about as “feminine” as you can get. But of recent, Gloria Steinem herself has been one of my sources of frustration.

Back in February, she suggested that young female voters were supporting Bernie because ‘the boys are with Bernie’. It broke my heart to hear someone I looked up to suggest that all female millennials were voting using their ovaries instead of their brains. And just the day before, on the campaign trail for Hilary, Madeline Albright whipped out her old saying “there’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help each other” while extorting young women that they have to vote for Hilary. And while it’s true that we should be trying to build each other up and not tear each other down, it shouldn’t mean that we should automatically side with whatever candidate has the same reproductive parts as us. That’s not feminism.

Being able to exert your right to cast your vote for a candidate that you think would best run your country, wasn’t always an option for women. Now that we have that right, we can vote for whoever we want, we aren’t obligated to vote along gender-lines.

Feminism isn’t supposed to be like the position of the Sith from Star Wars- “if you’re not with me, you’re against me.” Feminism is just saying that females should play a greater role in defining what “femininity” is all about. But this pseudo-feminism thing, where a woman who chooses to be a stay-at-home mom is treated as being less of a feminist than a woman who chooses to be a career woman? That’s nonsense.

The whole point is CHOICE. That’s what feminism means to me – wanting EQUALITY OF CHOICE not wanting some utopian “equality”. Especially when to be “equal” is being equated with being “identical”. Females can be equal to males without being identical to males or their roles.

All I want is to be free to choose to go to college and get a job or to be free to choose to get married early and start a family. To me, when if I’m told that no, girls can’t be doctors – that’s when I have a problem.

As I’m spending more time in the “real world” and growing up, so to speak, I’m becoming more and more acutely aware of all the boxes people try to put you in.

There are expectations of me based off of my gender, of my race, off of my nationality. And spending the past month or so in the Obstetrics and Gynaecology rotation, after seeing female patients from all walks of life, I’ve had a lot to think about the expectations placed on females. And this new wave of “feminism”, it doesn’t allow you a way out of the box, it just paints the box a different colour and slaps on a different set of expectations.

I haven’t figured out how to deal with all of the different expectations pulling me in ten directions at once, and perhaps I never will. But I do know, that I don’t like being crammed into someone’s arbitrary box, so if I end up being a “career-woman”, or if I end up working part-time somewhere or if I end up being a stay-at-home mom, that’s perfectly alright with me, once I’m the one making the choice.