Wednesday, August 24, 2011

This Is What A Feminist Looks Like: Rachael

Name: Rachael Berkey
Age: 28
Occupation: Online Communications wiz & writer
Location: New England
Any other relevant tidbits you'd care to share: I read too much. Seriously, I'll read the back of a cereal box if there's nothing else around for me to read. I also love Star Wars. And The West Wing. And Star Wars. Did I mention I love Star Wars?


How do you define feminism?
Feminism is confidence.

When did you first identify as a feminist?
I was born a feminist. It is an intrinsic piece of who I am. I honestly cannot pinpoint an age or a time; it's just always been part of me.

Has your (definition of) feminism changed over time? How?
I vaguely remember being horrifically confused when someone tried to tell me I wasn't a feminist. How the neckline of my blouse dictated my stance on feminism, I still don't understand. (Actually, I do. I just refuse to acknowledge it.) I didn't understand how someone could identify as a feminist and have the gall to tell someone else they weren't one because of how they looked. It didn't really change my definition but it definitely made me think about mine long and hard.

Have you ever experienced resistance to identifying as a feminist? If so, why do you think that is and how do you handle it?
I like to dress girly. I take good care of my body. I like cooking & baking and taking care of people. I also like to mainline Star Wars on a pretty regular basis. And I have no problem with women being photographed in skimpy outfits for the purpose of advertising, so long as it's tasteful...after all men are also photographed in skimpy outfits for the purpose of advertising too. Needless to say, I have always been challenged on my feminism. I fight back by enjoying my confidence, encouraging other young women to stand up for themselves, and by not caving to peer pressure to be catty and obnoxious to other women behind their backs.

What do you see as the future of feminism?
I see the future of feminism in many shades of grey. Everyone is not going to agree 100% of the time. But so long as we all keep talking about it and talking to each other, there is always the hope that improvements can be made.

Rachel Berkey lives in New England where she writes, bakes whoopie pies, and spends all together too much time with her nose in a book. She moved there last winter after 4 years of working in Washington DC both in politics and for a nonprofit. She has an MA in literature from the University of New Hampshire and uses it as an excuse to always have a book on her person. You can find her babbles about reading, books and her own brand of geekiness on Wars, her on TwitterTumblr and most recently at HelloGiggles! 

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