why i am a feminist

i was deep in the trenches of an amazing conversation with a new friend of mine the other night when the topic of having kids came up. most of you know that i have been on a pretty stringent tangent about NEVER bearing the kiddos, and i think that i am pretty much still of that mind set. however, when i mentioned to this friend that if i did, in fact, have kids, that i would want girls so i could raise them to be raging feminists…he raised an eyebrow.

he looked at me very strangely for about 3 seconds and then i realized that the term “raging feminist” may have taken him off guard. slightly. lol. and then i thought again about the term itself and what calling myself a “raging feminist” might mean to some people. i think to him it meant that i wanted to raise my girls to be mean lesbians, which of course isn’t the case. but also, not everyone completely understands that sometimes i see that feminism has taken a big step back from where we were right after third wave feminism started–which was a pretty great place, or at least trying to get to a really great place. all women were sort of brought into the fold of feminism and it became more rounded and full and complete. now, it seems like young women growing up these days have a few issues they need to overcome. 1) they have no idea WHAT feminism is or how women have fought to get us where we are, 2) they don’t care, and 3) don’t want to be coined ANY term that makes them appear to be defensive or unfeminine. This makes me quite sad because I feel like EVERY person on the damn earth should proudly state that they are a feminist…as Ani Difranco says “out of respect, for those who FOUGHT for THIS”. (Please go listen to that clip….).

so, i had to explain to him what i meant, exactly, about raising a feminist and why the term “feminist” was so important to me. in the moment, and after a bottle of wine, i am not sure if i made great sense and that bothered me a little bit because it is such a huge thing for me and has a lot to do with how i identify myself.

then i came accross this article today by one of my favorite feminists, Gloria Steinem…and i thought YES! this is WHY. the ideals she talks about in this article, for me, are hugly related to why i fall into line with the feminist idea. and while i make no bones about hating sarah palin–i feel like Steinem really hits home here.

i am not a crazy, mean, man hater. i am not a lesbian. i am not contrary or fearful or paranoid. what i AM is thoughtful and conscious of equality…for everyone. i don’t want to raise girls, who at the age of 13, start giving oral sex and making out with other girlfriends to please other 13 year old boys. i don’t want to raise girls who care more about brand names than education. i don’t want to raise girls who think that their only option is to get married and have babies. i DO want them to notice problematic language like “mankind”. i do want them to the have strong female influences. i do want them to be mindful and accepting of all types of people and do their part to fight for equality. i want them to notice art and other women who think and don’t hide it.

i want them to loathe paris hilton.

pretty simple. no settling. no apologizing.

this is what we have to remember:

and this:

oh, and also all of this:


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