I Am Woman


Names mentioned on the front page of the NYTimes last Monday.

I grew up in a traditional household with traditional values and plenty of upstanding male figures in my life. My mother seemed intent on wringing the masculinity out of me by enrolling me in piano lessons, sewing classes, cotillion, ballet. I even studied voice with a professional opera singer. I was constantly being told to walk with my shoulders back, hold my spoon correctly, watch my language. My mother bought me dresses, made me wear nylons to church, and put French braids in my hair each morning before school.

My dad taught me the beauty of sweat and the joy of dirt. He encouraged adventure, bruises, bumps, scratches, messy ponytails, heaving lungs. He praised me when I came home with bloody knees and high-fived me for jumping off cliffs at Lake Powell.

I grew up in a yin-yang.

I believe women should be treated equally, but men and women are not equal. This difference is crucial. You can charge at the windmills all day long, but it won't change the fact that men and women are simply built differently. I think people would save themselves a lot of time and energy if they just acknowledged and accepted these differences.

I don't see feminism as as zero-sum game. One gender's win is not the other's loss. Men and women need to work together on feminist issues. The goal should be a combined crusade toward societal betterment.

I wish some feminists swallow their pride and lower their middle fingers. I think the reason why the word "feminism" leaves such a bad taste in people's mouths is because, unfortunately, a minority of feminists can be hypersensitivehypercritical, and uninspiring. (To be fair, every group I identified with has "those" people--feminists, Mormons, Republicans...)

The perpetual state of yin-yang I grew up in has helped me understand the value of balance. I am a feminist because I believe women's empowerment is a direct path to a better world (see here and here and here and here). I'm hoping for a new wave of feminism that values balance. I want to work to bring it to fruition.

Care to join me?


  1. Wonderful! This is one of my favorite topics. I look forward to reading your upcoming posts.

    Also, have you read "A Thousand Splendid Suns"? I bet you'd like it.

  2. also, thanks for the cool links.

  3. I agree with you completely! Women are men's equals in every way that they should be. Both sexes compliment and complete each other. I am a firm believer that woman was meant to walk side by side with man, not behind and not in front.
    Thank you for your thoughts!
    -James Davis

  4. 1) I miss you too and I think you are so awesome.
    2) I wish you were in my women's studies and lit class because you would be great in it. "Feminism" does leave such a bad taste in people's mouth because it is perceived as a man-hating, angry, and as you said un-inspiring movement. There are many waves of feminism which have different purposes and agendas. I support "feminism" which aspires to improve cultural and societal views and treatment of women. Like you said, this shouldn't be a female-only effort, but a male effort too. I think women and men are more alike than different and equally capable of all things. Creating labels of "feminine" and "masculine" is sometimes to our disadvantage because we, in a way, dictate what people should and should not do based on their gender. I do believe gender is part of our identity, but I don't believe it shapes it entirely. We should talk about this more. I have to go eat more ice cream with Gary and Tammie.

  5. I like your views on feminism, and completely agree. I particularly like the bit on femininity and feminism.

    Looking forward to future posts!

  6. This did not surprise me at all coming from you. And I think the next few related posts will be interesting =)


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