MY FIRST BRUSH with feminist theory was at the ripe old age of 23, when, as a volunteer to a visually disabled PhD student, I read aloud portions of Black Feminist Thought and unabashedly displayed my ignorance. But way before that time of unknowing, began a journey of imbibing a belief system, questioning existing patriarchal norms and learning to negotiate for space in the world.
If I had to think back and wonder where my brand of personal feminism springs from, I’d say it is a direct outcome of growing up around strong female role models. My mother. My paternal grandmother. Both educators, income-generators, women with voices loud and determined who, despite the battles they faced, made it seem so easy. Some others I know actively sought feminism because it empowered them to be unlike their female role models. Yet others took an academic interest in the subject. But this is not a post about what kinds of feminist roots work best.
What I ask today is: what spurred you to feminism? Was it a process of becoming, of gradual realization, or was it something you had known all along, before you could even give it a name? Was it people, events or the ideology that made you identify yourself as a feminist? What is your feminism story? Your own personal history?
Even for the folks out there who don’t particularly identify yourselves as such, what meaning does feminism hold for you? Do you give it a place in your life at all, or is it something that’s best read about on this blog and forgotten when the browser clicks shut? It’s open house, people. Write in. I’d love to hear from you, so do share.