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Introducing myself and my journal: Butterfly Ablaze...

About Me:
Meaning is important to me.

I have been educated as a linguist and even before said education (and perhaps as the motivator of such!) I have been fascinated with words. Yes, I was one of those nerdy kids who read (?reads) dictionaries and copied pages into my private notebooks. I keep lists of words whose sounds I love, and index cards of words I want to recall; and I will swap and re-swap a relatively high percentage of words in this post before publishing - so that each one will convey my exact meaning just so…

And so, I set out on my determined quest to discover and share and act-out feminism, I find myself pondering exactly what that means.

I couldn’t have given a firm definition of feminism as a girl, or as an adolescent, or as a young(er) woman in my twenties. I was often confused by the many varied uses - and reactions to the usage - of the word, and I don’t think that I was alone. Indeed, I may have heard ‘feminist’ being colored with disdain more frequently than with dignity.

I was 3-0 before I was actually paid to advocate for women and before I realized the importance of claiming titles such as ‘women’s rights activist’ and ‘feminist’. And so, for clarity, I began looking to other women who had allied themselves with feminism…

In 1913 Rachel West said, “I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a door mat or a prostitute.”

Rachel’s thought was echoed by Chris Kramarae, historian and activist, when she stated, “Feminism is the radical notion that women are people.”

More recently, Jessica Valenti, author and founder of feministing.com has subscribed to the dictionary definition: “the theory of the political, economic and social equality of the sexes”, but has also written, “Feminism is … an ideology based on the notion that patriarchy exists and that it needs to end.”

And the amazing bell hooks defines feminism as “a movement to end sexism, sexual exploitation and oppression.”

From these and many other women I have learned little pieces of what it means to be a feminist, to believe and practice feminism. I am still learning and I will continue to seek out those who can teach me and grow and act with me. In the meantime, I am going to begin my understanding here:

Fem-i-nism: /ˈfemənɪz(ə)m/ noun – a creative opportunity for transformative change in thought and action, leading to an end of all forms of oppression and domination and the beginning of collaborative, dignified safety, freedom and equity for all

My Passions:
learning, laughing, discovering...

My Challenges:
extended attention!!

My Vision for the Future:
The realization of transformative change in thought and action, leading to an end of all forms of oppression and domination and the beginning of collaborative, dignified safety, freedom and equity for all

My Areas of Expertise:
linguistics, gender socialization, gender/domestic violence, sexual violence

Comments

AchiengNas's picture

Thank you for keeping

Thank you for keeping "feminism" in your private notebooks and sharing with us. You are in the right house and you will need to stock more notebooks because you are going to discover more lists of words and whose sounds you love here at World Pulse - a home to women around the world mentoring and mentored by fellow women.
Go ahead and share with us, we are listening. Welcome Butterfly!

Regards,

Beatrice

I believe everybody has the potential to live a better life. Given the Opportunity, Education and Motivation ANYONE can become someone admirable. Nobody is a NOBODY, everybody is SOMEBODY.

fem4femmes's picture

Gratitude...

Beatrice,

Thank you for your warm welcome!

The discovery of World Pulse at this time seems quite serendipitous as I am working to found a new women's action organization in my home state. The hope I am feeling for the support and wisdom of this sisterhood is overflowing!!

So many thanks and blessings to you; I look forward to knowing you and the many other inspirational women of World Pulse!

Marissa

"I am the flicker, flame, butterfly ablaze who wants to fly in search of mythical rainbows beyond the rain." ~ Ana Castillo

Fatima Waziri's picture

Hey there! Welcome to

Hey there! Welcome to PulseWire!

It’s so exciting having you with us, I am sure you will have a fabulous time with your new online friends as well as find this to be a very positive experience. I encourage you to take advantage of the numerous resources and features available through our vibrant online community.

Welcome again to our global community and I look forward to hearing more from you here on PulseWire!

Peace!
Fatima

fem4femmes's picture

Peace and Grace...

Fatima-

Thank you so much for you warm welcome to PulseWire! The outpouring of generosity and inclusion here fills my soul with awe! I so look forward to more of that feeling and an opportunity to share it with others as well!!

Marissa

"I am the flicker, flame, butterfly ablaze who wants to fly in search of mythical rainbows beyond the rain." ~ Ana Castillo

lorraineumwiza's picture

Love the Rachel West quote

Marissa,

You had me at "nerdy kid who read dictionaries". Your post reminds me of something that I was told a few weeks ago in a conversation about feeling oppressed in a marriage: "let's not use the word oppressed b/c that sounds like feminism". I almost (or maybe I did) laughed aloud at the thought that I would try to hide or not claim my feminist ideology for fear someone might label me a "feminist". I'm glad you're claiming what you find necessary to advocate for gender equity, and I look forward to reading more of your favorite words and quotes.

Cheers,
Lorraine

fem4femmes's picture

Processing...

Lorraine, it took me a couple of days to be able to respond to you! I continue to process all that that name means for me, 'feminism', truly a self-identifier! I am so delighted to share that label with you! Thank you for the encouragement and I look forward to much more sharing!

Twirling with joy,

marissa

"I am the flicker, flame, butterfly ablaze who wants to fly in search of mythical rainbows beyond the rain." ~ Ana Castillo

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