March #InkRipples theme is feminism. Be sure to visit Mary Waibel & Katie L. Carroll's blog too. After you enter my giveaway!
I was raised by a strong, independent woman. She was a leader. A trailblazer. A boss. I didn’t know she was a feminist. She raised me with her values. She imparted her strengths. I didn’t know I was a feminist. I rarely ran into roadblocks based on my gender and now I wonder if I simply refused to see them as I barreled through them, climbed over them, shattered them. Thanks, Mom.
Over the years feminism has gotten a bad rap, but there is a resurgence within the population and I wanted to find out what feminism means to today’s young women. It just so happens my daughter is a rather outspoken feminist, so I didn’t have to look too far.
Mom: Tell us what feminism means to you.
Alex: Feminism is, by definition, the social, political, and economic equality of men and women. But feminism to me means men, women, and non-gendered human beings working together to create a safe, caring, and equitable world for all marginalized groups. I think it’s important to note that feminism is a movement for all, not just women.
Mom: I think the key phrase is marginalized groups and yes, I love the UN's He for She campaign that Emma Watson is the spokesperson of, which strives for gender equality. How do you address people who are still stuck with the image of a man-hating feminist?
Alex: I find it very difficult to answer this question. My initial reaction to anyone who says or thinks this is, “How can you still even think that?” There is so much media and information out there that prove feminism is the exact opposite of man-hating. But generally I refer them to the definition of feminism. And from there decide whether or not I want to even engage in the conversation with them. Some people just refuse to be educated.
Mom: In my very uneducated, personal opinion, I think it's an image of feminism that was developed in the 70's. The sad truth - in my eyes - is that women had to go to the extreme; become tough, grow thick skins, be outspoken in a radical sense, in order to move feminism forward. It may not be what feminism is today, but many people who lived through the bra burning days will still think that way. I'm encouraged that you are stumped by this. It gives me hope that the image of the tough as nails, ball-busting woman will eventually go away.
If you could impart one piece of wisdom on a feminist novice, what would it be?
Alex: To read, listen, and learn to and from as much feminist media as possible. Particularly from feminists in the LQBT community, and women of color. Third wave feminism (where we are today) is one of the most inclusive waves of feminism we have to date. It is our job as feminists to continue to empower women who have traditionally been silenced in these types of movements. On the podcast, Call Your Girlfriend, these two lovely ladies refer to novice feminists as “baby feminists” which, to me, is an endearing term for people who are just starting to question the effects of the patriarchy on women and people of color (POC). Feel free to identify yourself as a baby feminist! And take this opportunity to learn as much as you can. We are all on a journey, third wave feminism is still relatively new and trying to find an identity, be part of the building of this identity.
Alex: I don’t model myself after any one feminist. I think that it’s important to digest multiple media and theories to find the feminism that works for you. But I love Emma Watson, she has been someone I’ve admired since she played the spunky and witty Hermoine Granger. Now that she uses her power and recognition to speak about feminism I admire her even more. And of course, Beyoncé. With her latest drop of the song “Formation” she has proven once again that she is a powerhouse who stands for Black Lives Matters, and women’s empowerment.
Mom: Do you have any recommended reading on the topic of feminism?
Alex: If you are on facebook, it is really easy to follow many different feminists or feminist blogs/magazines. I follow “My Favorite F word is Feminism” “Bitch Media” “Everyday Feminism” and “Feministing”. It is an easy way to stay in the know about current issues and how they are being viewed by people I identify closely with. But as I am in school and working full time, it’s hard to fit in reading as much as I would like. So I listen to a lot of podcasts! My favorite feminist podcasts are Call Your Girlfriend, Another Round, and, The Read. And I am only scratching the surface!
Mom: Great recs! I love that I have such a smart, well-spoken daughter. Well, I have two, but you're my go-to girl on feminism for now. I'm sure Abby isn't far behind though. And we'll work on the boys together. Thanks so much for joining us today, Alex. I'm so proud of the person you are.
As my regular readers know, I always have a giveaway with my #InkRipples post. It just so happens that another smart young lady that I know recently recommended a book on feminism. The recommendation caught my attention and I added the book to my to-read shelf on Goodreads. I haven't had a chance to read it yet, so I'll let Paige tell you a little about it:
I would recommend Feminism is for Everyone because not only is it written by one of the most influential feminists of our time, bell hooks, but it also makes feminism accessible to a market that may otherwise extend beyond feminists who already have an extensive knowledge of the different sectors of feminism that exist (i.e. diving into marginalization and struggles with hegemony and the patriarchy). –Paige from The Paige Turner Blog https://thepaigeturnerblog.wordpress.com/
I'm offering a Kindle edition to a lucky winner. No small thing, since the Kindle edition is more expensive than I usually condone for a digital book. #PersonalOpinion. Enter often. You have through March 20th to enter as often as possible. Oh, and I'd LOVE to hear from the winner after they read this book!
#InkRipples is a themed meme hosted by Mary Waibel, Katie L. Carroll, and me,Kai Strand. We post on the first Monday of every month. If you would like to participate compose your own post regarding the theme of the month, include any of the images displayed on this page, and link back to our three blogs. Feel free to post whenever you want during the month, but be sure to include #inkripples when you promote so readers can find you. The idea is that we toss a word or idea into the inkwell and each post is a new ripple. There is no wrong interpretation.