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Defining Feminism

Lately I have been thinking about my definition of feminism.

As an early 20’s female, I find that it is constantly evolving and changing shape. I am actively searching for role models who exemplify strong, independant women who are able to have a family, children, even the white picket fence and still hold true to their feminist roots by being change makers and front line drivers in their career and society.
Thankfully, I didn’t need to look much beyond Hook & Eye as most of the women who write or read these posts are exactly that.

When I found the following photo online, I knew I needed to share it in my next post.

I loved these quotes and I greatly admire the women who spoke them. I have added them to my growing stack of literature, quotes and figures who are influencing my view of feminism.

What are some of your favourite quotes on feminism? Who are some of your female role models?

One thought on “Defining Feminism

  1. Thanks, Jessica, for this thought-provoking post. I try to stay away from formal definitions of feminism, but I do want to spend more time thinking about what feminism means to me (which I think can be more fruitful at times, although agreement on terms is important when working with others toward specific collective goals). For me, feminism is about supporting women's options and making sure that women both have options in terms of reproductive rights and work and education opportunities (to name a few) and are aware of–and believe in–these rights. Feminism means, to me, encouraging healthier relations between people of all genders. Feminism also means, for me, challenging systemic issues that are often more easily (and lazily) blamed on women. Some of these issues are the role of medical, legal, and governmental institutions in cases of maternal homicide or where guardianship of a child is given to a mother over a father (despite her qualities or lack of fitness) simply by virtue of the prevalent cult of the mother. Men's Rights Activists blame feminists for this outcome, but it really is evidence of still deeply entrenched benevolent misogyny. We, the public, tend to call these homicidal mothers monsters, but in many cases there is evidence of failure on the part of other institutions who were aware that the mother is unfit. Feminism also means, to me, being willing to take a stand when necessary (and when the risk to self is not too high) to ensure the safety and well-being of others. Feminism also means that my successes are not my own, as I hope to be a good role model to others. Feminism also means setting aside judgment based on my own personal inclinations–just because I would not make a particular choice does not mean that I should choose for other women. I guess this stuff is all pretty much cliched, but I feel very strongly about particular issues such as the ones I've outlined, in addition to reproductive rights, LGBTQ rights, sex-positive feminism, active consent, dismantling of rape culture, and sex worker advocacy. As someone who is more comfortable in somewhat conservative circles, though, I do not often speak up as much as I feel I should. At this point in my career I feel that I have to keep my head down as much as possible. I guess I haven't done that here, but oh well.


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