Monday, November 2, 2009

Women Unbound Start-of-Challenge Meme

The organizers of this interesting challenge are also going to post various memes and discussion topics during the year, which should be fun. They've already got a Start of Challenge Meme up, so here is my contribution:

1. What does feminism mean to you? Does it have to do with the work sphere? The social sphere? How you dress? How you act?

I don't consider myself an expert on feminism or anything, so this is just the way I feel about it. To me, feminism is being proud to be a woman, to know what we are worth, to know what we are capable of (pretty much anything we set our minds to), and to stand up for the right to make our own decisions. I don't need a man or society to tell me what I should do, though I might seek their advice from time to time. I think feminism also means supporting the idea that women deserve equal rights in the workplace and in society.

2. Do you consider yourself a feminist? Why or why not?

I am an adjunct history instructor at my local college, and I guess I was surprised when one of my students told me I was a feminist last term. I must have gotten a confused look on my face, because she felt the need to explain that it was quite clear that I didn't agree with the way that women were treated in society and in their families in Colonial America. I told her, well, I just can't imagine what it would be like to be considered a dependent of your husband (both legally and socially) rather than an equal partner. As much as I get nostalgic about the past, I kind of like living in a time when women are on a much more equal footing with men. So, yes, I guess I consider myself a bit of a feminist.

3. What do you consider the biggest obstacle women face in the world today? Has that obstacle changed over time, or does it basically remain the same?

Gosh these questions are hard! I'm not really sure how to answer this question. I guess if I go off of my priorities with my daughter, a big obstacle in my mind is society's limitations. I want her to be able to make her choices based on what she loves, what she needs, what she wants--not what other people expect from her because she is a female. If she wants to have a career, she should go for it. If she wants to stay home and be a mommy, I'll support that too. But I'll never discourage her from chasing after her dreams just because it isn't a choice that many women make or because some segments of society look down on women who make certain choices. She has gifts and abilities that she should be able to use, regardless of her gender and regardless of the stigma attached to certain decisions. Hope that makes as much sense written down as it does in my head! LOL


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