Tag Archives: feminist

An Intro To Feminism

24 Feb

Since there may be some readers who are unsure of what a feminist is or maybe have heard only negative stereotypes of what a feminist is, we wanted to share with you our thoughts.  We are each going to tell how we define a feminist and how we came to identify as feminists ourselves.

When and why I became a feminist can’t be pointed down to a specific moment. This consciousness has been building my entire life, I’m pretty sure I did some awesome feminist-y things before I can even remember. You wanna know why? Because my gender/sex has affected my entire life. The moment I was born I was placed in this category of girl/female and from then on expected to follow the norms associated with how my body was marked. I’m pretty sure I didn’t like these impositions, at least I want to believe my rebel spirit always made me question and resist these gender prescriptions.my earliest memory of my contestational self is the moment when my dad told me i could not drive a jeep because i was a girl. i raised hell at his reasoning arguing with him, constantly, about how unfair he was for treating me different because i was a girl. i was nine. i never drove a jeep but i do have a bad ass black montero sport with really wide tires. my dad help me fix this car. i feel like i won that argument. Now, as a person in their late 20s reflecting on my feminism I am thankful for my own interest in Women’s Studies because it has given a lot of flesh to this identity. By this i mean that i have to talk about class and race if i talk about gender because they are inseparable. here’s why: the same way my gender was imposed on my body so was my race and all of my experiences are sifted through my class (my parents are working class immigrants, hence the car story). i have the darkest skin color in my family other than my father. that is in relation to my very fair skinned mother.(which means i’m not dark skinned at all, i’m tan at best. but that’s semantics) she has called me “negra,” as a term of endearment, of course,all my life, but “negra” is still a loaded term because it always made me different from my brother and the rest of my family. plus, it emphasizes the long history of racial discrimination and racism that we live with everyday. i am in no way saying that this is traumatizing, not all. it actually made me question the racism in my family too. these details about my life just show how i have been a gendered and racialized person my entire life. as such, i have always been a feminist. feminism during my BA (where I met the gals on this blog) has given me a language with which to talk about these imposed categories, a way to keep that rebel spark alive and going. that training fuels the fire of disobedience so necessary to transform our everyday lives, and i still have hope, the world.        ~maria~

Feminism to me? My belief is that feminism is equality for all in all institutions, the ability for you to be who you want to be without society passing judgment on you. There should be no enforcing of these judgments in policy in any institution. I believe that feminism celebrates women’s shared experiences as well as their differences. Feminism has an understanding that not all women experience life the same way and draw from those differences to improve our lives and society.

So when did I become a feminist? I’ve always felt in my heart that there was always some underlying sexism happening throughout my life and that it was total bullshit. I couldn’t put my finger on it though.  I recall sitting in freshman year PE class in high school having this conversation about how unfair it was that if a guy had multiple partners he was rewarded/celebrated while a girl was called a slut if she were to do the same. Fast-forward five years and it’s the first day of my intro to women’s studies class. We went over some basic ideas of feminism and that was when I had my “ah-ha!” moment. I finally had it! I was a feminist! So that’s what all those ideas came from, I was a big ol’ fucking feminist and there was no turning back. I’m glad. I’m thankful for that day and being a feminist.       ~vera~

To me a feminist means a person who believes everyone deserves equal human rights and life opportunities regardless of sex.  The differences between the sexes are appreciated and that one is not better than the other.  They are equal.  I prefer the term equalist, but I think it’s just a word I made up.

I think I was born a feminist.  I called my mother to confirm whether this was true or not.  I even ended up asking if my ideals were my own or if I just adopted hers and I needed to do some questioning.  As soon as I said that though and processed it I knew that it wasn’t true.  My ideals are similar to my mother’s, but that is because I have chosen them.  So, I can’t exactly blame my mom for turning me into a feminist, but this is how she influenced me:

  • She kept her last name when she married and gave it to me
  • She’s a social worker-she’s seen the awful stuff you read about in the news up close
  • She’s a single mom
  • She left a domestic abuse relationship
  • She taught me no one can make me do something I don’t want to-which backfired on her when I started skipping school, but a very valuable lesson for me
  • Always stand up for yourself even if it means you are standing alone
  • It’s about how smart you are, not how pretty or popular you are
  • She-Ra, CNN, & Disney.  Haha, ok I’m sure you’re wondering about these.  My mom believes these were all positive female role models in my life.  She-Ra was a fighter.  CNN has strong female reporting.  And Disney because when I was a kid that is when The Little Mermaid, Beauty &The Beast, and Aladdin all came out.  Ariel, Belle, and Jasmine were smart and strong, defiant characters.

I didn’t start actually calling myself a feminist until my last semester of my last year of college.  I took an upper level Sociology class Differences of The Sexes, or something like that.  That’s where I was exposed to feminism, but a very white feminism, such as Gloria Steinem and Betty Friedan.  This class is what helped me to realize that what I want to do with my life is work for equality and you know, since I’m a female, I figured I’d focus on women’s rights since they seem to be lacking.  So, I graduated college.  I somehow procured a scholarship to attend any state school in Illinois, but it was only at the bachelor’s level.  Since I had graduated I didn’t know what I was going to do and had been looking at Master’s programs, but since I was still undecided and had this scholarship I decided to get a second bachelor’s.  In Women’s Studies.       ~Phaydra~

Do you have a story to share?  Did you think feminism was something different?

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Vintage Fashion Inspiration-Linda Ronstadt

15 Nov

Yet another awesome rocker lady who says, “I’m grateful to the feminist movement and think it was very important. It helped us to find where we stand on things like abortion and birth control, and job opportunities for women.”  Unfortunately, the movement isn’t over yet.

I’m not ready to let summer go!  I wish I lived in southern California where it’s warm year round.  Linda exemplifies the laid back, casual, sensual attitude living by the beach enables.  Her wardrobe instantly takes me back to hot, bright sunny days.  I wish I had bangs, but not really, certainly not in the summer.  I do think I need to pick up a pair of hoop earrings, but covered in pearls or stones.  All I really want is to be able to go barefoot and wear short shorts year round.

A summertime essential: an off the shoulder ruffle top.

Hi, it’s nice to meet you

28 Sep

We are 3 friends who met in Chicago.  We come from different backgrounds, but our common link is we are not afraid of the dreaded “F-word” feminist and gladly identify as such.  We feel that feminists shouldn’t be stereotyped or pitted against one another or that if you are a feminist that you can’t enjoy getting a mani-pedi while sipping on champagne.  We are starting this blog because we are now in three different locations.  Maria is in a small, college town in upstate New York. Phaydra remains in Chicago.  Vera is in Oakland, California.  We want to remain connected to each other and share what it is to be a feminist.  Yes, feminists do like fashion and food and even enjoy watching  Sex and the City (of course not without critique).

  • Vera

When Vera isn’t in school she is battling the wonders of children and wishing she were at home cooking, talking to her best friends about present day feminism and enjoying all the greatness that the Bay Area has to offer.

  • Phaydra

Is currently having a life crisis.  She quit her job at Planned Parenthood and is now trying to figure out what to do with her life.  This includes much volunteering, interning, and surfing the internet, but no actual paid work boo hoo.  She blames her parents for her indecisiveness since her mother is a Democrat and her father is a Republican.  Or maybe it comes from being a Libra.  She hates theories and academic writing which is what caused her to change her former career path of being a life-long student.  For now she is content to sell vintage clothes on Etsy and explore Chicago.

  • maria

About a year ago I had a dream, I don’t remember its specifics but immediately when I woke up I called my grandmother. I had to tell her about it. In the dream there was a woman who looked at me and told me ” you do it with what’s within you.” I don’t remember what I wanted or need to do but this phrase struck me, so much so that I wrote it down in one of my notebooks. When I told my grandmother about the dream and what this woman had said, she said to me,”Dios siempre esta contigo, dentro de ti. No tienes que ir a buscarlo” this was her interpretation of the dream. She explained that God is always with me and inside me. I don’t need to go find God. I was struck by her response. I am not a religious person but I do believe in the spiritual connection between everyone, for better or worse. And although I can be really critical of organized religion and haven’t participated in along time, I think my grandmother confirmed for me that when I feel weak, like I can’t go on, sad, lost I can always count on those spirits that are around me to guide me through difficult times. If I am able to listen…This understanding of the world has been facilitated by various feminists, Starhawk, hooks, Lugones, Lorde, my mom, and grandmother among many more; through their writing and insight these immaterial connections would make no sense, they would get lost in the violence of dominant Western thought, capitalism, patriarchy, sexism, racism in short all of the dominant organizing principles of reality. What they have done is given
me the ability to articulate other  real organizing principles of reality. This ability has become imperative because as a Ph.D. student in a small town; a very small, economically and spiritually depressed town finding strength to make a life here that is fulfilling is difficult but I look to “what’s in me” to guide me. I have a lot of help, from friends,family, food, music, books and the spirits in all things around me. This is a practical way of life. Fashion, Food and Feminism are part of my survival tactics, not just in the midst of academia and small town living but always. My contribution here is to share these strategies in the hopes that they help strengthen everyone’s ability to live and “do ‘it’ (whatever it may be) with what is within in you.”

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