It would appear I am an almost-college educated woman.
This means that I am supposed to know things, like the square root of pi, or CPR, or how to not get lost in the library, or the best ways to interview for a job in corporate America. Being graduated from college is supposed to mean that I’m proficient in spelling, and remember to stand up straight, and know how to wear a suit.
I am not proficient in spelling. I do not know the square root of pi without a calculator. I do not know CPR, I am not comfortable in a suit, and sometimes I forget to stand up straight. There are a lot of things I do not know, but there are a few things I know for sure. Today I would like to share a few of them with you, if that’s ok, because it would seem that a lot of what I know for sure has to do with feminism.
Things I know for sure include…
1. It is always important to stop and smell the flowers. Life is too short to rush around, and anyway, I think maybe flowers get sad when nobody notices them. A lot of feminism is appreciating what is good and just in the world, and working to protect it, so smelling flowers seems applicable.
2. When you’re trying to explain feminism to someone and their notions of what feminism is supposed to be leave them feeling less-than-open to the discussion, utilize resources like the linked video below. Bring feminism into unconventional spaces in unconventional ways. Know why it matters to you. People prefer to listen to you talk about what matters to you.
3. On your daily gratitude list (if you don’t keep one of these you might enjoy trying it), try including the work our Foremothers did to make the US, and world, more accessible to women. Be thankful for the rights women have gained, and continue working to protect these rights while advocating for others.
4. Try to never forget that your presence means something to the folks around you, and meaning something to people around you does not mean you’re perfect or invincible. Try to be the best person you can be, and try not to be too discouraged when you fall short of whatever that means to you. Even when you fall short of being the best person you can be, try not to oppress other people.
I think maybe not oppressing other people is a significant part of feminism, or at least what it means to me. It seems silly and outdated to think of sex and gender as reasons why someone should be paid less, or have fewer rights, or be called names on the street. If you agree with this (or, with the simpler maxim that women deserve to be paid as much as men do), you are a feminist. Congrats. Take a moment and go smell some flowers.
Peace and flowers,
Shea Daniels, Volunteer