“Feminism is the radical notion that women are people.”

February 16, 2011 at 7:52 am (Uncategorized)

I have pondered a great many hours over how to introduce this blog to you. I couldn’t decide if I should I present it as a learning tool, a representation of my passionate belief system, or a befuddled mess/mass of my musings on feminism. I came to the unfortunate conclusion that I have no conclusion. Whatever form it takes, I simply want it to be honest. I want my readers to understand that I in no way believe that my values are righteous or superior to yours.

I came from a small Kentucky town and probably never even heard the word feminist until college. My countrified and rural upbringing never exposed me to the struggles of women. Wait, I need to alter that…I was exposed, but had no knowledge of my exposure. You cannot see what you don’t notice or understand. Learning about feminism in college was like having a magnifying glass thrust in front of my face. All of a sudden, I saw things in a new light…I saw unfair gender roles in every tv commercial. I noticed my Mother’s struggles and all of the work heaped upon her, simply because of her sex. I learned in ways bigger than I could comprehend of the unjustices to women all across the country, the world. I saw the disadvantages of being a woman at what seemed every turn. You’ve heard the phrase that “with knowledge comes responsibility”, right? Well, in my case, with knowledge came ANGER. I missed my blissful ignorance. I hated this new world. I longed for the easy luxury of being in the dark.

I learned and grew and read and observed and absorbed. I never completely got over my anger (it’s always sort of there in my back pocket), but I also no longer want to be in a state of ignorance. In fact, I have made it my mission to educate others because the issue is so imporant and valuable. And social change can only happen from intelligent thought and action. ACTION. Perhaps even blog-like action.

Though I am a feminist and proud to be one, I still wrestle internally with what that means. I would like to talk about being a feminist in a most simplistic way; because in my mind, it is a very basic concept. Feminism = equality. Not superiority. It is about justice. Feminists want to be valued in the same way that men are valued. No more, no less.

I want to impress upon readers the fact that anyone can be a feminist. According to some, I am probably a different kind of feminist. I love makeup and cute little hairstyles. I shave my legs and keep up on the latest fashions; but I am here to tell you that you can be whoever you want to be and still be a feminist. While I sometimes feel some guilt that I am bending to expected societal female standards by taking part in some of these things, the fact is…it is my choice. I expect to get into that at a later date, as I feel it is a fascinating subject.  My point is, you can be a tom boy, a girlie girl, a man, a woman, or a even *GASP!* religious and still be a feminist.

I wanted to begin with an introduction:  My name is Katie and I am 31 years old, living in Honolulu Hawaii on the island of Oahu.  I have been married for 7 years to an environmental engineer.  I am a runner, a musician, and a soon-to-be grad student at the University of Hawaii. (Please see the “about me” section of the blog for further info).  I entitled the blog Tales of a Fumbling Feminist as I feel it’s an appropriate description of what I want to represent here.  We’re all human, complex, malleable and flawed.  I am hoping to use this website as a forum for communication, thoughts, articles, videos and announcements for students, alumnus and teachers. It’s beginning as a Women’s Studies project, but I have hope that it will continue to generate interest with lively debates and discussion.  Welcome to the fumbling feminist!


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