Kirsten // Feminism 04

KirstenKirsten kirsten KirstenWhat does being a woman mean to you?
Being a woman means many things to me. On a certain level, it means nothing more than being a human. I’m a person who is important and worthy of respect and love just like every other person on earth. On another level, being a woman means something special and spectacular. I am not afraid to notice that women and men are different and I celebrate those differences. Among other things, as a woman, I am able to grow a life, another human being, within myself. That fact alone awes me and makes me realize that being a woman is something great and powerful.

What’s your favorite part of being a woman?
This is a strangely hard question. I have never truly enjoyed being a woman. I have always felt I was too much; too loud, too aggressive, too emotional, too much of everything. Additionally, I felt like I wasn’t enough of anything, ever. Therefore, I often hated being a woman because somehow I managed to feel that I was failing at being who I am. What I’ve realized is that the standard I had set for myself was not a true standard for womanhood. Still, I’m not sure I have a favorite part of being a woman. I love to cook and make my home pretty, but I know men who love doing those things also. I love getting fancy and feeling classy and great but I know men who love doing that, too. I guess the only truly female thing that excites me is my ability to someday get pregnant and give birth to another human being. That is awesome and special and unbelievably exciting.

Do you ever hide or try and change apart of yourself to please others/society?
Yes, every day of my life. I’m not what society or the media would claim as beautiful. On a good day, I’m a size 14 jeans. I have the palest skin of anyone I know, and my hair is thin and curly but often just frizz. I don’t usually care about these things because the media doesn’t define beauty. I mostly love my curves, my skin is beautiful and freckled, and I love my hair, frizz and all. But my personality. Oh lands. I try so viciously to change that part of me when I am in certain settings. I am opinionated, loud, irreverent, silly, emotional, passionate, thoughtful, and sometimes just plain strange. Often I love all of these things and more about myself but in certain situations and with certain people I will always try to hide bits of myself in fear that I will be disliked for the person I am. I am not proud of this and I work constantly to change, overcome, and be proud to be myself at all times and with all people. I’m a work in progress and I’m okay with that.

What comes to mind when you hear the word feminism?
Gender equality. The idea that women and men are of equal and important value is just paramount. Feminism calls to mind women and men who seek justice, fairness, respect and opportunity from the world around them.

Would you call yourself a feminist?
Yes, I would. I believe that as a woman I deserve to have a job and pay my bills and walk down my street at night without fear. I believe that I deserve to be treated with respect and fairness. I do not believe that I am better than men (which I have perceived as a misconception about Feminism from some of my friends and family), rather I believe that I am of equal intelligence, equal ability to reason and think, equal strength of mind and body as men. I deserve to have a job that recognizes me as a woman and mother just as much as it should recognize men as men and fathers. I believe in gender equality. I am a feminist.

What does being a Feminist mean to you?
Being a feminist means living daily what I believe and what I believe is that women are just as important, intelligent, strong, thoughtful, and capable as men. Therefore, being a feminist means respecting myself as an important, intelligent, thoughtful, and capable person. This doesn’t mean that I put an unholy pressure on myself to be someone that I am not. It means that I believe in who I am and refuse to be afraid of being that person.

Why does Feminism matter?
The fact that this question even needs asking seems answer enough. Feminism matters because I want my daughters to be allowed to be whoever they want to be and do whatever they want without shame or guilt. It matters because I want my sons to see women as equals to them in intellect, understanding, and strength of mind and body. Feminism matters because women deserve to be respected for who they are and not judged by what size bra they wear. Feminism matters because we live in a world where women are routinely oppressed, enslaved, and made to feel shame for being who they are. Until it is recognized as the norm, Feminism will matter.

My little sister, full of spunk and vigor. I’m often envious of her ability to be so completely herself. Kirsten is currently working as a nanny, but her heart longs for travel and helping people in far away places. She travels to Nicaragua a few times each year to spend time helping/loving her friends there. I love this red head so dearly. 

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