• Current Reading List

    Peaceful Action, Open Heart - Thich Nhat Hanh*** Eat, Pray, Love*** Peaceful Living - Mary Mackenzie(daily reader)*** The Vein of Gold - Julia Cameron (this is a read a chapter a week type book)*** Dubliners - James Joyce*** Nursing: The Philosophy and Science of Caring - Jean Watson*** The Diary of Virginia Woolf. Volume I***
  • Two roads diverged in a yellow wood and I, I took the one less travelled by, and that has made all the difference.

An Aside about Feminism

Why, after all these years, is feminism still a bad word? For some people anyway . The other day I had an interaction with a woman whom I very much would have considered feminist. My image of her is that of a strong woman who speaks her mind and stands up for what she believes in. That in itself is a pretty good definition of feminism to me. However, she strongly declaimed against such an assumption, stating something to the effect that she would rather stay home and cook and raise babies if she had a choice. Of course I rallied that as a feminist she could do just that, but she speedily dismissed my feminist assertions and we dropped the subject.

The very word “feminism” to her, and seemingly to the other women in the room (who I would have also mistakenly dubbed feminists) was clearly anathema. But I would virtually guarantee that if I stripped away the word and delved into the meanings underneath, that these women would hold or at least agree with many feminist morals and standpoints. Equality, freedom, choice, and women’s rights to autonomy and to make choices about their bodies (including reproductive choices) are a few examples of what I consider tenets of feminism. Now you also must understand that while I consider myself feminist by my very nature, I am not an active feminist. As much as I would like to, I don’t run in feminist circles, or go to feminist events. While I do enjoy reading blogs by feminists,  I am not even very knowledgeable about feminist terminology (like what 3rd wave really is about) and history; unlike some strong feminist role models of mine like Alison Piepmeier and some of the writers at Girl with Pen or Bitchmedia (awesome ladies!), I only occassionally blog about the subject (although one could argue that all of my writings are feminist in nature, but I digress). Despite this, I have long considered myself a feminist and railed against those (male and female alike) whose lips curl in distaste when mouthing the word as if their lips had encountered a vile and rotten fruit.

In fact, I quite vividly recall when I first heard someone use the word feminist and made it sound like an insult. It was my brother, who teased me when, as a little girl, I questioned why all the Christmas hymns blessed “men” and not women or both (e.g. the line in one hymn goes “peace on earth good will to men”). I remember quite clearly his taunt “what are you some kind of feminist? hahaha”. I also remember that moment was when I most firmly decided in my mind that yes, yes I was a feminist. Even if I didn’t know what the word feminist meant, I inferred from his teasing that it must be a good thing to be for women. And I still think so.

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