Last week I was interviewed by Dr. Jesse Daniels (PhD) for a research project she is doing on feminist bloggers. I had taken a short survey a while ago and had somehow piqued her interest.
(You can read more about her and her research here.)
I hadn’t felt any misgivings about the role of “feminist blogger” until the interview was scheduled. Then… I started to wonder.
Am I blogger? Well, I blog. Sometimes I feel like I blog too much, sometimes not enough. But I do in fact blog. I read other people’s blogs. I comment on them, they comment on mine (or send me emails) and even though I am a bit of a “noob” in the blog world, yes, I do blog. I am a blogger.
Am I a Feminist?
Much more complicated question.
But the answer is yes. I know the word frightens some people, alienates others, and sets the teeth on edge of many of my female relatives. I know there is a concept of what a feminist is, what she or he does… I know that many times that social understanding is overly simplistic or downright wrong.
I know it is a charged label.
The thing is, I don’t use too many labels for myself. I shy away from a religious label, an ethnic label, a sexual orientation label. Heck, I am even registered as a “non-partisan” There are only a few labels that I wear with pride.
Feminist is one of them.
What do I mean when I say I am a feminist? It is two parts.
Part One: I believe that there is a disparity between the genders in our world. There is inequality and it is rampant. I believe that this is not only unfair; this is wrong.
Part two: I am working to change that.
I know many people will ascribe to the first part… after all it seems relatively obvious. Some would say it is so obvious that it doesn’t bear repeating. I disagree which is what leads us into the second part. I think we should repeat it, we should shout it from the rooftops, we should work to change it. And in my own small way, I am trying to do just that.
Put it together I am a feminist who blogs… not always about feminist issues, not always about issues at all.. in fact one could argue that this blog is more shameless self promotion and writing practice than anything else… an argument I would be the first to make and loudest to champion.
I remember the first time I was called a feminist. The term was used as an insult because I had chosen to have a one night stand. To be fair, I was called a slut first and when I argued that I wasn’t exactly promiscuous but rather was simply unapologetic for going after and getting what I wanted sexually… then I was called a Feminist.
This was the one of the first times the dreaded and rumored “double standard” had actually reared its ugly head in my world.
I was appalled that I was being held to a different standard than the guys that I knew and instead of being cowed by being compared to a bunch of “angry men hating liberals” I decided to embrace the idea of feminism and hopefully make a positive impact on my world.
I “became“ a feminist.
But I am so much more.
Who am I?
I am Kay.
I volunteer at the Billy DeFrank Center,
I am a card carrying member of NOW,
I support our troops, I oppose the war,
I will vote for Obama,
I am Pro-Choice,
I have been a victim, I survived
I donate blood whenever I’m not anemic,
I donate to libraries, AIDS research, and women’s shelters,
I have body issues,
I am afraid of the dark.
I am unashamed of my past sexual experiences
I have made mistakes, I have learned
I am a writer.
I sing on the train, in the shower, and whenever I feel like it... mostly off key.
I have three nervous habits that I keep trying to quit
I am allergic to chocolate
I play my music too loud
I try to be a good friend
I believe in second chances
I live in the moment
I am not shy about my affections
Most of all:
I try to be a good example for my little sisters.