LJWorld.com weblogs Feminist Findings in Lawrence

How I found my feminism.

Advertisement

http://worldonline.media.clients.ellingtoncms.com/img/blogs/entry_img/2007/Dec/22/well-bahaved.jpgphoto from factoryjoe at flickr.com I found my feminism in two difference places; in my family and in books. I am grateful to have been raised without gender-segregated treatment. If I wanted toy cars, fine. If I wanted an American Girl doll, fine. I got an Equal Rights Amendment bracelet for my 18th birthday from my mom, which was given to her on her 18th birthday by my grandmother.While I am infinitely thankful to have such a wonderful family, I would not be the feminist I am today without the summer of 2005. I had just moved out of the dorms at the University of Kansas and into my first real apartment. Faced with endless amounts of free time and no TV, I turned to the Lawrence Public Library for entertainment. But after I had watched all the James Bond and Alfred Hitchcock movies I could stand, I needed something else.Seeking an alternative, I decided to learn more about feminism. I had always known that I valued and respected women, but I did not know the theories, the movement, or the struggles behind that belief. It all started with bell hooks' Feminism is for Everybody and Madam President: Women Blazing the Leadership Trail by Eleanor Clift and Tom Brazaitis.I spent that whole summer working my way through all the feminist books I could find at the library. And from then on, I have been educating myself (formally and informally) about every form of feminism imaginable. The more I read, the more I felt like someone finally understood how the world really worked and could articulate that understanding. There is gender influence in every single action we take in every day. It is often small and hard to find, but it is there.How did you find your feminism?

Comments

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 7 years, 8 months ago

Many years ago when I was young and foolish I married a man (really a boy) who turned out to be an abuser. He didn't do a great job of it, since he liked having a second pay check. I began reading MS magazine which told me I didn't have to put up with jerks. I realized all my money was paying the bills, and his was going to drugs and other women. I decided I could make it on my own, and not be treated like dirt, so I divorced him. Then I got a job at a factory that usually only hired men, because they needed to hire "minorities". I did a great job for them for over 10 years. I am married again to a man who knows I'm with him, because I want him, not that I need him. I demand respect.

Flap Doodle 7 years, 8 months ago

snap writes: a kahanga-hanga interno buhay

David Lignell 7 years, 8 months ago

Hi Liz,

Your family was very supportive of you! Along with sending positive messages about gender, they also helped to prepare you for a world that isn't always ready to play fairly. I am far from perfect in my understanding of equal rights and equality, but I do abhor an uneven playing field in any aspect of diversity.

It's tough sometimes because sexism is so pervasive in many of our social mores and norms, even in this age of enlightenment.

We have a daughter we named Erica because in Scandinavian it means "strong woman."

I was anything but the beacon of enlightenment with her one day when we were watching the KU men's basketball team on TV. During a commercial break, I started scanning through the channels and skipped past a couple that included women's basketball games. When the KU game came back on she looked at me and asked, "Dad? Why don't you ever watch a women's basketball game?"

Ouch! What was I going to say, that the men's team is better? They jump higher? ESPN thinks so, too? And, oh, while I'm at it, let me negate anything I ever told you about equality through my behavior.

How subtly we promote and prolong the idiocy of the previous generations.

It truly is a "gender influence in every single action we take in every day."

Godot 7 years, 8 months ago

I did not find feminism, it was thrust upon me when I came to the realization that the men around me did not live up to what I had been taught to expect of them. That happened after the birth of my first child. Before that, I was just confused.

BigPrune 7 years, 8 months ago

I always thought Eleanor Clift was a b*tch.

wysiwyg69 7 years, 8 months ago

liz, I thight you were going to say you found it in the rosy or degenerate show

Kathy Getto 7 years, 8 months ago

Feminism hasn't a thing to do with abusive men.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.