Defining a feminist

November 13, 2013
The Experience, Marina Stuart '16  |  The Experience, Academics

In the past, I’ve never referred to myself as a feminist. I certainty act like one, and I’m all about the empowerment of women, but I’ve never used the term “feminist” to describe myself.

This is mostly because I didn’t have an exact definition and didn’t want to get into arguments when I didn’t have firm reasons to back up my claims.

But now I do.

I recently discovered the kind of women I wanted to emulate while I was writing a paper for my English class. As we read Lucy by Jamaica Kincaid, we looked at the book through a feminist lens. When it came time to write the paper, however, I did not want to write about how the book was feminist, but instead how just one of the characters was.

While describing the feminist character, I realized that I wanted to be just like her. The character, Lucy, does not care about social norms and how a woman “should” act. Instead, she understands that women don’t need to be on one side or the other: they can act girly and romantic yet at the same time be strong and independent.

Even though I usually already act like this, figuring it out and finally putting it in words was a moment of self-definition for me.



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