a chair of my own

last night i had a run in with a woman i’ve known for a long time. full disclosure: she & i are not friends. we’re neighbors. not close neighbors. you know, hello… goodbye, have a nice day … neighbors. i’ve always known her to be a strong willed woman. in a good sense.
but last night, at a political function/fundraiser which i was invited to speak, she approached me and after our pleasantries, asked me to not use the word ‘feminist’ while campaigning for a woman. she finds the word offensive, and oppressive and inoppropriate. “it will turn people off and away if you use that word…” she actually asked me to make her a promise to NEVER use that word. i boldly rejected her request: that’s like asking a person of color to not wear their color.
women have come a long way. we have. we’ve come far. but i also think many women stand in their own way. we are – at times – our own worst enemy. pushy and nasty and righteous.
the thing is, i never used the word feminist in my speech last night. i said that those who know me know i am left of center, a woman who speaks her mind, and someone who will stand up for what she believes even if it’s not popular. i talked about the power and greatness of good women. and this is why i was supporting pam.
end of story.
the word FEMINIST never left my mouth.
however, in this later conversation, while drinking wine and eating cheese, i mentioned how i was deeply proud of being a woman of strength, with a feminist point of view.
uh oh.
holy shit.
you would have thought i said to her, ala the exorcist, “your mother sucks cock in hell….”

which brings me to this.
why is it that women are so offended when other women stand tall. stand up, speak up. why is it so difficult to honor and appreciate our differences, our individual journeys, our paths, our beliefs. why slap someone for their choices? is it only and all about god? about sex? about godless sex? is it that some religious women, (some) church going women, actually equate power with god and therefore being a feminist is equated with no god. no spirituality? or perhaps god forbid a feminist is a woman who loves god, but also loves other women.

i don’t get the fear. i don’t get the anger. i don’t get the hate. i don’t get the censorship.

would i ever ask a woman wearing a diamond or gold cross necklace to remove the cross necklace because as a buddhist i don’t have the same taste in jewelry?

fuck no.

it all boils down to one thing: plain old feminist-fearing.

don’t you love being a goddess?

Category: Uncategorized 8 comments »

8 Responses to “a chair of my own”

  1. martha frankel

    spit my coffee out. i had forgotten that gem from The Exorcist. i am making my own share of enemies for speaking out, for standing tall, so this felt very timely and wonderful. thank you

  2. kristine

    sheeeeesh….wish I would have been standing by your side and kissed you a big one right there on the mouth. what does it matter, if the intention is freedom for all? what is a word, a glance, a string of pearls if supporting the rights of others is the outcome. what could be intimidating about someone if the good for ALL was their destination? Don’t get it either…I have heard you speak. I have seen the passionate look in your eye, the devotion in your tone of voice. I know you to be not only a leader, but a committed follower of others on a mission to make the world a better place.

  3. gerit

    Kelli Goff has a really good piece on HuffPO (i linked to it in my latest, Bond Girls) that explains the reaction. & Julianne Moore mentioned it the other day, with the qualifer ‘it just means being equal’. somewhere along the line it got a bad rap, & no one quite knows how to fix it, & then some, lke this woman, don’t even try, they just perpetuate the tarnish. ..

  4. Hollye Dexter

    Crazy is in the air right now, it seems, and we are being challenged – the test is: Who are we going to be when pushed to the edge of all we know and believe?

    You pass the test every time.
    Keep standing tall in who you are and what you believe and never let any small minded person shake you from your center.

    You are an inspiration.

    There will be lots more of these types as we push forward on our journey, I suspect. Wear your teflon shield….

    love you…

  5. Madgew

    I appreciate your encouragement not to censor.

  6. Donald Sanders

    Coming from a woman, I find it strange that she would even suggest that you not use the word “feminist”. Where exactly does she shink she would be without feminist pushing through the croud to make a path for her to follow. Shame on her. I have a wish too. I wish I was standing next to you in line when Kristine decided to hand out kisses. LOL

  7. Judy N

    Oh yuck. On top of the old backlash against feminism, we get the new conservatism–right wing radicalism is patriotic. Liberalism (not just left radicalism) is the devil’s spawn. Talk about offensive.

  8. EA

    Yay for all the feminists!!! I’m so happy that I got to grow up in their wake and am granted all the gifts they procured. I am feminist hear me roar for everyone that still is without equality. Next time Amy, DO say the word in every paragraph at least once. Perhaps a tatoo as well. xo

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