On Feminism…I’m not worthy

So, I find myself in a peculiar position. Being an Academic Staff employee at UW-Green Bay, I’m at the periphery of academia. I operate in an office that expects real, tangible production work, but by nature of higher education have abundant opportunities for cerebral engagement.

I’m fortunate to have had strong, intellectual women welcome me into the folds of their knitting circles, lecture series and Facebook groups. So often, among those amazing, intelligent women, I’ve fancied myself the token stupid girl with superficial talents and concerns…such that I’ve never considered myself a feminist. I’m not sure if it’s by stereotype or by influence of the aforementioned women, I immediately associate feminism as something for intelligent, strong women. Since I only identify myself with one of the three, is feminism for me? Furthermore, is this notion of feminism accessible to those who aren’t women, don’t think they’re smart, and have low self-esteem? Can I prescribe to the advancement of the female half of society at my own comfort level with the faculties I’m gifted? Is it enough for me to be thankful that, as a woman, I can be a self-sufficient professional? Or is my weakness, in itself, counter to the movement?

In celebration of Women’s History Month, a nationally acclaimed scholar in gender studies, Dr. Anne Fausto-Sterling, is coming to UW-Green Bay. I will have the opportunity to not only converse with, but introduce, this gender studies rock-star and the first thought that comes to my mind is, “I am not worthy.”

Informal Discussion with Academic Staff <–please come…please?
(tomorrow) Thurs, March 8, 2012 at 10 a.m. in the 1965 Room, University Union

Other events include:
“How do Naked Newborns Become Boys or Girls?”
(tonight) at 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 7, Rose Hall 250

International Women’s Day Luncheon keynote speaker
(tomorrow) at Noon, Thursday, March 8, University Union Alumni Room

P.S. I just found out I have the privilege of giving her a ride to campus tomorrow. My car is not worthy, either.

4 thoughts on “On Feminism…I’m not worthy

  1. Bridget

    Here’s how I see it… If you believe that women should have a CHOICE, you’re a feminist.

    If that choice is to stay single
    If that choice is to get an education
    If that choice is to be president
    If that choice is to stay at home and raise children
    If that choice is to pursue a career
    If that choice is to speak her mind
    If that choice is to use birth control to prevent an unwanted pregnancy

    It doesn’t matter how fortunate or skilled a person is, or even if they’re female. If one believes women have the right to make their own decisions regarding their education, lifestyle, career, family, body, religion… they’re a feminist.

    I totally understand that there are times we all can feel “stupid” or lacking in talent (hopefully it’s momentary because it’s not true), but that shouldn’t allow the beliefs of a society to prevent a woman from making these choices just because she’s female. I hope you see these as separate conversations.

    Feminism is for anyone. I feel pretty strongly about that, so I had to share. :)

  2. Bonnie de Arteaga

    It seems that every generation of women must fight for the same causes over and over. But little by little the world improves. Remember that every feminist sets an example to evry woman just coming into her own conciousness in misogynist strongholds.
    When you enjoy your status in academia, and contribute to its goals, without it seeming special or preferential, you have achieved the goal of feminism. You are setting an example to all women who follow who say to themseves — if she can do it so can I.
    Wish I were there to celebrate international women’s day with you.

  3. Kimberly Post author

    Wow, thanks for the insightful comments, Bonnie. :) Bridget and I were discussing today how things are so much better compared to what you faced, but there’s still a lot to do. I’m going to save this. The next time I need an attitude adjustment, I’ll remind myself that by just putting effort into my work, I’m cultivating the option that some other woman might do the same.

    Even though you’re not here, you’re still helping me celebrate international women’s day. :)

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