Show me your Feminism

Radical Everyday Activism

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My madness is my feminism

My feminism shows itself by refusing to let me sit quietly and play along like a good little girl in the face of injustice. It embraces adversity as an opportunity to create change, both within and without. My feminism goes into the thick of it even when I’d rather run away from it.

When I was 17, my feminism meant researching state employment law, educating my co-workers, and protesting an employer’s sexist dress code until it was changed.

When I was 21, it meant reporting sexual harassment after being cornered one too many times and seeing other women subjected to the same. It meant watching top execs fly across the country to meet with me, fire the offending manager the same day, and put new sexual harassment policies in place.

When I was 25, it meant gleefully declaring my queerness anywhere and everywhere. It meant volunteering like mad on successful campaigns to stamp out hateful legislative efforts.

When I was 29, it meant co-founding a non-profit to bridge the gap between the Deaf and hearing queer communities. It meant reveling in the strong community we built and the minds we opened.

When I was 32, it meant taking a hard look at the fast and furious career path I was on and reevaluating exactly who I am and what I want. It meant losing my mind in the process.

And now, at 36, it means honoring who I am and what I want. Preexisting definitions and expectations be damned. It means finding my mind in the process.

It means choosing to be a housewife and stay-at-home mom in a society that says this is not a proper choice for an educated feminist. It means living simply so my family can make this choice, only taking what we need and treading lightly on our planet. It means adoring my family more than anything in the world. It means valuing my role for what it truly is - one of raising a child consciously and nurturing a family mindfully.

It means fighting for marriage equality on both a personal and public front. It means giving a simple and honest reply to clueless strangers who ask if my wife and I are sisters. It means correcting well meaning folk who say our son “must look like his dad” when my wife is not around. It means being involved in our community and showing what a lesbian family looks like - pretty much like any other loving family, with just a wee more feminine energy at the helm.

And most recently, it means living out loud about the part of me that society insists makes me quite mad. As in certifiable. It means blogging about my journey to deconstruct and reconstruct myself. A journey that now has me proudly declaring my madness, and defiantly challenging the concept of “mental illness” and exactly what it means to be “normal.” Much like my journey to deconstruct and reconstruct my sexuality so many years ago.

My feminism celebrates the fact that my journey will continue to evolve, that my role as a feminist will continue to change, and that, no matter what, my voice will continue to be heard simply because I refuse to be silent.

- Natalie
http://www.rockpapershutup.com/

Filed under feminism activism adversity change state employment laws dress code sexual harassment queer blog nonprofit Deaf stay at home mom housewife family marriage equality madness mental illness bipolar women's studies natalie submission

  1. gahmani reblogged this from lipstick-feminists
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    This woman is my hero.
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    this is so awesome.
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