Monday, January 14, 2008

Monday Musings

I'm having a little trouble kick-starting my brain on this gray, misty Monday morning. How about some inspirational tales?

Who or what inspired you to become a feminist? I would love to hear about everyone's journey.

6 comments:

Kelsey said...

Oh Ms. Fincher... I love this post (especially since it includes a lolcat picture).

I was actually talking about this the other night, but Nadia Telsey/the Women's Self-Defense program at the UO inspired me to be a feminist. She was the first woman I had ever met who taught me that I didn't have to be content with the ways in which I was treated in this world, and she also gave me tools to claim some of the power lost to the wicked ways of patriarchy.

Wow, that sounded so Women's Studies 101.

Anyway, I owe my feminism to that wonderful lady.

Rebecca said...

I love this question too! One of my earliest feminist moments was going to my first political rally back in 1989 or so. My oldest sister lived in Portland, and I lived in a small, conservative Eastern Oregon town. I was visiting the big city for the weekend, and my sis took me to a pro-choice rally where Barbara Roberts spoke. The audience was encouraged to bring a wire hanger to send on to Congress to symbolize our unwillingness to go back to the days of illegal abortions.

It was such an amazing experience for my young eyes to see hundreds of people coming together because they cared about women. I'd never seen anything like it, and I felt so energized to be a part of it.

At that time in my life, my mom always said I was born in the wrong decade, and I should have been around for the civil rights, women's and anti-war movements. What we didn't know back in 1989 that we know now is that there's plenty to get political about right now. Bring it.

Jenny said...

I think feminism really took hold for me in college as well. I was in high school when Katie Rophie's book "The Morning After" came out, and while I never read the book, I read all about the ensuing culture wars in the media.

For the uninitiated, Rophie argues that many rapes are really just the result of women feeling regret after a night of consensual sex. To protect their reputations, they accuse their sexual partners of rape. Rophie's arguement seems ridiculous to me now, but it's very much couched in terms of female sexual empowerment. Women wouldn't find themselves in these situations because they want to have sex, right? This made sense to me.

It wasn't until representatives from NOW came to my college campus to gather support for a "March to Fight the Right" that I really started to question Rophie's ideas. I ended up organizing a group of students from my college to go to San Fran to take part in this demonstration. This is the place where I first saw women wearing handmade shirts with the slogan "F*ck Patriarchy".

It doesn't get any better than that.

Jenny said...

I think feminism really took hold for me in college as well. I was in high school when Katie Rophie's book "The Morning After" came out, and while I never read the book, I read all about the ensuing culture wars in the media.

For the uninitiated, Rophie argues that many rapes are really just the result of women feeling regret after a night of consensual sex. To protect their reputations, they accuse their sexual partners of rape. Rophie's arguement seems ridiculous to me now, but it's very much couched in terms of female sexual empowerment. Women wouldn't find themselves in these situations because they want to have sex, right? This made sense to me.

It wasn't until representatives from NOW came to my college campus to gather support for a "March to Fight the Right" that I really started to question Rophie's ideas. I ended up organizing a group of students from my college to go to San Fran to take part in this demonstration. This is the place where I first saw women wearing handmade shirts with the slogan "F*ck Patriarchy".

It doesn't get any better than that.

Ms. Fincher's Finishing School for Awesome Lads and Lasses said...

I think I've always been a feminist, but I didn't have the vocabulary for it until I took my first Women's Studies class at university. Suddenly, all my beliefs and feelings were validated and backed up by academia and an amazing community of feminists! It was an incredible year, full of learning about sexism, gender socialization, the stupidity of the gender binary system, racism, classism....That one class put me on the most amazing path. It inspired me to volunteer at a DV shelter, which eventually led me to PWCL.

Without feminism in my life I would be a frustrated, angry and desperately unhappy woman struggling to assert myself in a world that wants me to shut up and sit down.

Rebecca said...

Jenny -- I was at the March to Fight the Right in San Francisco too!!!! The Women's Center at my university organized three bus loads of activists to go, and we slept on the floor of a church. It was awesome.

Hooray for public displays of progressive politics!