Friday, 7 May 2010

Feminist Friday - My History as a Feminist

Feminist Friday is about tagging posts that you write concerning feminism with 'feminist friday' so that other people can find them.

I was a feminist from an early age. I don't know how that came to be, no one I knew was a feminist. I might have been 13 or 14 when I became very vocal that I shouldn't have to do certain things 'just because I am a girl'. I quizzed my poor mother about why she did all the housework, and was generally very adamant that I wasn't going to be treated unfairly because of my sex. I think this made it hard for my mother to teach me cooking and other practical household skills, which in turn made things difficult for me after I left home.
The only person who gave me a hard time about being a feminist was my brother -in a big brother being annoyed by his little sister way. My father, fortunately, was supportive. He was willing to show me stuff in his workshop, talk to me about politics, and encouraged me to become an engineer. (Not that I wanted to be an engineer, but I was good at math. My Dad had trained as an engineer.)

In high school I took metalwork shop entirely because there were no girls in the class. I knew nothing about metalwork. I learned to arc weld, in spite of a teacher who didn't give me much help. I was proud of that.
I signed up for Bachelor Cooking instead of Home Economics to make a point. And became an umpire for little league baseball, in spite of the fact that I had no interest in sports, simply because it was assumed that girls didn't umpire. The umpiring was a disaster.

It was the late 70's when I went to university. The height of the feminism. I joined a women's conscious-raising group. I considered myself a radical feminist. Which to me meant that I didn't only want women to have equal opportunities as men, I wanted the structure of our society to transform from a patriarchial one to one where both masculinity and femininity were equally honoured.
Because I considered myself a radical feminist, I went to meetings about forming a women's building on campus. That is where I had to face some radical feminists who thought that to be a true radical feminist you couldn't have a relationship with a man, which was pretty uncomfortable as I was a heterosexual woman.

After college, I became consumed with my spiritual search. While I have always considered myself a feminist, I haven't been very active about it for the past 25 years. So recently, when my interest in feminism has been newly refired, I am looking up and discovering a different territory than the one I knew in the late 70's and early 80's.


curiouscrow said...

Hi I'm new to your blog and work - and I think Feminist Friday is a great idea. I have been writing Art Herstory posts on my blog every other Friday for the last couple of months and as from today I'll start tagging them 'Feminist Friday' too! when I post later I'll link back to you and share the idea.

apinkdreamer said...

hi!!!i'm eleni from greece!
i love your art joutrnal pages!i have an obsession too with art journaling!
i read a post of yours in last february-what wonderful words aboyt journaling!!!nice to meet you!

La Dolce Vita said...

feminism has changed a lot since the late 60's and early seventies when I was in consciousness raising groups, but the issue hasn't changed AT ALL! great post!!

Zom said...

Curious, you have a fantastic blog!

Pink, thanks so much for stopping by.

La Dolce, so glad you like it. I am interested to find out how feminism has changed.

gayle said...

Really interesting post!

nollyposh said...

Woo! Hoo! (i was the only girl in my graphics glass in high school too!) X;-)