Occupation: Writer, artist
Location: Des Moines, Iowa
There are as many schools of thought on feminism as there are feminists, chauvinists, scholars and comedians in the world. But personally, I believe feminism isn’t a new mold for women to fit into. It makes me sad to see so many women, mostly young women, fret over whether or not they are “good feminists.” I firmly believe that being a feminist is no more complicated than the mantra that my dad instilled in me since I was tiny:You can do whatever you want. Never let anyone tell you that’s not true. My dad changed story characters to girls, uses the pronoun “she” in discussing hypothetical people of power, and never really let me know that there was a gender divide in anything. I also have to thank him for never making any job that a woman had of her own choosing seem undignified.
And you know where that got me? I’m a 27-year-old housewife. And it would be downright unfeminist of me to think that choosing to do what I do at this point is low, or limiting. You can do whatever you want does not continue on to say as long as you’re a doctor or an astronaut.
When did you first identify as a feminist?
I never identified as a feminist. I think I was just made one. My dad was as concerned with instilling me with a feminist outlook as he was with teaching me manners, diligence, and proper grammar -- so I grew up with an understanding that women are powerful. That my favorite characters could be reimagined as girls. That I should be careful not to squander my skills and that I would need to stand up for my self sometimes.
Has your (definition of) feminism changed over time? How?
My definition of feminism hasn't changed over time, though my understanding of others' views of it has evolved as I meet more feminists and come to understand how they view the world and the work left to be done. Though I guess I have begun to sought out readings and discussions on feminism as I've gotten older.
Have you ever experienced resistance to identifying as a feminist? If so, why do you think that is and how do you handle it?
The most resistance I've met comes from other feminists, especially after I started writing Hipster Housewife -- and even more after I wrote a post about feminism and being a housewife for Small Strokes, Big Oaks.
I recognize that I am very privileged to be able to say I will do whatever I want, and that not all women are in such a lucky situation. However, I have to believe that feminists didn't fight for my right to work outside the home -- they fought for my right to choose whatever path I may. They worked so that future generations would have healthier relationships, less fear, and more productivity.
What do you see as the future of feminism?
Hopefully, in the future feminism just...peters out. But I know that's a far-fetched dream. I'd love to see feminism be a less-dirty word to mainstream America -- and as that happens, to see the concept grow as something we are proud to export.
Cat loves the internet, and can be found all over it, but the easiest is @catrocketship. She works as managing editor of Offbeat Home, blogs about her job as House Captain at Hipster Housewife, makes art, and runs monthly indie craft fest Market Day.
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