on (finally) accepting feminism

When I was little I wanted to be a boy. I bought a skateboard and went out onto the culdesac, where the neighborhood boys were building vert ramps and asked if I could join. They said no. I went back every day with my skateboard and every day they said no. They said no until one day they took my skateboard from me. They stole it and never gave it back.

Instead of being angry at them, I was angry at me. And for most of my life, I dealt with similar situations in the exact same way.

It was my fault. Always my fault. Because I was a girl.

Because I wore the wrong thing or said the wrong thing or led him to believe the wrong thing... It was my fault I didn't know how to say no. It was all me.

Girls suck, I thought. Girls are nothing but trouble. I suck, I thought. I am nothing but trouble. I can't trace back where these thoughts came from, only that I had them. That I resented myself and my peers for being female even with my "girls kick ass" tee-shirts and the bubble-lettered "boys suck" I wrote a thousand times on my binder inserts.

But I liked boys. I liked them so much I watched them skateboard. I watched them build the ramp I wasn't allowed to touch. If you can't join them watch them. If you can't join them, become their groupies. If you can't join them, let them touch you. Pretend like you're sleeping when they sneak into your body.

When you're young, you want to be liked. When you're young and you're a girl you want to be liked and everyone else wants to be liked and pretty soon there is a war to see who is most liked and pretty soon everybody loses. Everyone's a loser. I was a loser, too.

Because, "show me your tits" when you're young and don't know any better, seems like a compliment.

The only boss I ever really had pulled up my shirt on my first day of work. I was twenty-one and he was an old man and I stood there and let it happen. Laughed it off. Ha ha ha, you are so funny with your hands and my tits in them.

I can't even type that without feeling like I want to hide. And in the year I spent working for him, every day was much the same, some days worse than others. Some days much worse. Until finally, one day I walked out. We were in the middle of a conference call with the door locked and porn on the big screen TV in his office, something that routinely happened without me saying a word. I had convinced myself it didn't bother me, it shouldn't bother me because, hey, I liked porn. At home. Alone. Not with him. At work. In a room that was locked with a man and his nose thick with capillaries. He disgusted me and I disgusted me and when he wouldn't unlock the door to let me out I broke.

Finally.

I spent the next two years in a shrink's office. Wrote a novel about a prostitute who gets to kill her pimp. A prostitute. Because that was how I saw myself.

That was the only way I could be confrontational: through writing.

It wasn't my fault. That's what I learned in therapy. That it wasn't my fault. But I didn't believe any of it until I had daughters of my own. Until I had a girl in my arms, female, did I suddenly, for the first time in my life, feel the need to defend myself. To show them so that I could show her that I was worth it and we were worth it and everybody was worth it.

Until I had daughters, I was angry with myself women. I was afraid of myself women. Women were the enemy with their judgement and their beauty and their bodies. I didn't want to be one of them. I didn't want to be like the other girls. I heard the boys throw around words like "tease" and "drama." I didn't want to be a tease and I certainly didn't want to make drama. It was easier to laugh it off. Act strong. Let the boys steal my skateboard. Curse myself for trying to ride one in the first place.

When you can't say no, sometimes saying yes first is the only defense. Say YES before he asks. Say YES before he assumes. Say YES to everything! You are more fun that way! You are in control that way! No one can burn you or bring you down!

Except yourself.

Which can be worse.

And yet. One of the greatest parts of being alive is learning how to wade through the various pools of retrospection. Time heals but more importantly it allows us the opportunity to forgive, to face . I'm not completely there yet but I'm working on it. I'm working on becoming a better woman. So that I can help my daughters navigate through what can be a confusing and degrading world. So that I can be there for my son when feminism crosses the line into man hate. Because that, in my opinion, is just as bad.

When I was first pregnant, I wanted a boy. I wanted all boys. I wanted Fable to be a boy because I didn't want a daughter. I had already experienced one teenage girl's coming of age. I resented my femininity on too many occasions. My stupid boobs, body.

If I had another son I could still be one of the boys.

With a daughter, I would have to change. I would have to respect myself for her: Fable, story with a moral, who helped pave the way for me to better understand myself, the mother, the woman, the girl... who knew how to help everyone but herself. She was my heart and I knew there was nothing I could do to protect her. All I could do was teach her how to build her own shield.

But first I would have to learn how to build my own.

When I go back through the archives of this blog, it's like a switch flipped. The tone changed. My mother always tells me that Fable brought the sun, dried up all my angst, and she did. But it wasn't until I was pregnant with Bo and Revi that I started to figure it out: myself and why for so many years I sat on my hands. Kept quiet. Let it ride.

Perhaps it was the hormones on overdrive or the exhaustion, but at ten weeks pregnant with what I would soon find out to be daughters, I was able to fearlessly confront someone for cheating me out of something. It was just a man and he was just cutting in front of me in line but I did it. I said something. For the first time in my life I told him NO. I told him no so hard and so loud that an employee had to split us up. It was magical. It was out-of-body. It was me defending myself after twenty-nine years of acquiescence. I was saying NO. With authority. To a man who was trying to take advantage of my smallness. And compared to him, I was small. He told me so with his eyes and his body nudging me back.

"SIR. I was here first."

"So what."

So THIS! BAM!

I had an inner strength. Two inner strengths! Dude might have been bigger than me but I HAD THREE VAGINAS, BITCH! I had four biceps forming in my center. And (duh, self) two of my own.

Bitch.

When Archer was a baby, I wrote about being a masculist. And I was. For him. Because I hated the way men were depicted in beer commercials just as much as I hated that women were always portrayed as these "things" that danced around them in bikinis. I still do. I hate that there are men out there who make terrible choices. I hate that there are boys that will grow up to make them too. I hate that there are women out there who make terrible choices. And girls that will grow up to make them too.

It's a lot of responsibility, being a person; male, female, we all want things from each other. We all demand things from each other. We all cross the line. Cut in line. Brush up against each other in line. To err is human. To want is human. And yet. Sometimes being "human" is not a good enough excuse for pushing or grabbing, groping, hurting. Motherhood may not have turned me into the badass I always wished I was but giving birth to three girls in three years certainly flipped a switch in me. Hard.

And it wasn't until now, in a home surrounded by daughters, in a community composed almost solely of women, strong, sensational women, to own a term that for so many years I refused.

Because contrary to years of personal belief, feminism isn't about man-hate but woman-love. It isn't about demanding a front row seat but a fair and just place in line. Because when we stand up to those who push us down, we stand up for so much more than ourselves. I know that now.
<span class=
...Finally.

GGC

203 comments:

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annabelvita | 9:30 AM

You're incredible. Thanks for this.

Clandestine Road | 9:30 AM

This is amazing. I can relate to so much of this; the self-loathing for being a female, the inability to find a self for which to stick up, being take advantage of, and hoping my kids would be boys so they would never know what it is like. I have three glorious daughters who have taught, who teach me so much with their love, strength, and light. I am so grateful for them, that they are girls.

Thank you for sharing this. It makes me so sad to think of you going through this.

Angela

Hippo Brigade | 9:37 AM

Wow! You're transparency is inspiring, staggering, and hopeful.
Thank you.

NOELLE ALOUD | 9:39 AM

I have baby girl inside jumping and kicking away, and tears in my eyes.

Much love to you and your tribe of wonderful, powerful women.

peach | 9:42 AM

i'm not sure what to say. this post moved me. it's like we lived the same youth and finally (!) someone is able to express my experience in a way i always wanted to.

Anne | 9:47 AM

I needed to read this today, thank you.

Stephanie | 9:53 AM

This is wonderful. And sad. And empowering.

I have a master's degree in Women's and Gender Studies and have considered myself a feminist for as long as I can remember, so when students (or other women) say they aren't feminists I could only list all the things feminism had given them - the ability to vote, wear pants, have a credit card - but this is what I will share with them from now on, because I didn't get it. The anger against misogyny doesn't always lead to empowerment, it can also lead to self hatred. Thank you for helping me understand.

I am so happy that you know now that you are powerful and a person worthy of standing up for yourself and your daughters. Your daughters, and son, are so lucky to have you as their mother.

...of course I still want to hunt down your old boss.

DOMROCKSTAR | 10:01 AM

This story touched me. I type this comment with tears in my eyes.
I too hated that I was a girl. I wanted so much to be a boy cause I felt weak in my skin. I was physically abused by my dad and my stepdad and had built up this fear of being weak in everyone's eyes. I lashed out in elementary school and fought the boys who made fun of me or wouldn't let me play football with them. In high school I only had guy friends cause I hated that the girls judged me by what I wore, that I didn't like makeup, have boobs, or whatever. I still at 31 don't have many women friends.
I met a man when I was 19 that changed everything. He loved me and didn't see me as weak. He took the time to break through the walls I built up and made me feel like a strong woman instead of a weak little girl. He's my husband and we've been together for almost 13 years now. We have a metal band, I sing he plays drums. We have a 5 year old son and we both are teaching him all the lessons of being a good human and treating others well without a gender label.

Kimberley Newey | 10:07 AM

Thank you for this. It's wonderful and honest and full of hope. I hope I can learn to love myself more as a woman, a daughter, a girl...

Kayla | 10:08 AM

I find myself with goosebumps at the end of most of your posts. Thank you.

Melissa | 10:09 AM

I want to copy and paste your words onto the insides of my eyelids so that I can read them every day. This is so incredibly inspiring, empowering, motiving, healing, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc.

Thank you for putting into words what so many of us have felt for a long time!

margosita | 10:11 AM

Amen!

Kate | 10:14 AM

Yes. Just yes. You are so awesome.

I was so sheltered in my teens. I thought equality was all about politics and economics. Everyone was nice to me and respected me, including boys.

I had no idea that I would need more than beliefs in my twenties, when I learned that that you can die a thousand little deaths in your heart when someone intimidates you with their subtle gestures, their body language. The unwanted comment, the brush-up, the staring. Those little things that say "You are less than me". I needed strength and I didn't know how to deal or even how to speak up.

And then I blamed myself. I felt like I should have known how to speak up. But no one ever taught me. I always thought being a feminist meant being for the right things politically. No one told me the real battles are fought every day, when you say NO to poor treatment and intimidation. I learned the hard way. I hope I can teach my kids that through what we both had to learn.

tallnoe | 10:16 AM

Wow. This is very impressive. Thank you for finally sharing it.

erin | 10:17 AM

I've always said the same thing: "I only want to have boys". But now?

Wow.

Just.

Wow.

Also yes, YES. Thank you for writing this.

Erin | 10:21 AM

Girl, you are kicking ass. I'm sure tour daughters will absolutely grow up to be proud, brave people with your example. <3

SomethingClever | 10:22 AM

What a wonderful post! So poignant and true for most women, at least it is for me! I hope it is not true for my daughter (10 weeks). I will make it my life's mission to ensure it is not! Thank you!

Shea Goff | 10:23 AM

Much love back at ya', woman!

ZDub | 10:24 AM

How I wish I would have read this years ago.

Thank you for being so very brave.

Lisa | 10:26 AM

Good God woman, you are amazing! Rock on with your bad-assed little ladies! The world needs more of you. We never stop growing and learning eventually we figure shit out!

Thank you for sharing this with us.

Roberta | 10:26 AM

I have chills after reading this. Wow. So strong, so beautiful.

Amanda | 10:28 AM

I used to think that by keeping quiet about my views I had the potential to create more change by staying credible. It's crap, spoken or unspoken, who we are and who we'll rub the wrong way are kind of set. The only factor we control is how strong we're willing to fight, or how loudly we're willing to speak for what we believe in.

Beautiful revelation. Thank you.

Feministy | 10:33 AM

I have to say I am so, so relieved to read this here. I remember reading something you wrote or maybe watching a Momversation video you participated in where you rejected calling yourself a Feminist, and that always depresses me because I think of women who don't identify as Feminists as women who lack self-respect, who want fewer rights ("please Sir, fewer right for me!"), who won't stand up for themselves and you have never seemed like that kind of woman to me.

I have a daughter and I'm pregnant with twins (a girl and a boy) and since I identify so strongly as a Feminist, it completely informs my parenting and I can see the benefits of that already. My daughter knows that girls (and boys) can do anything they want as long as they're not hurting other people, that she is in charge of her body and no one has the right to touch her or say something to her that she doesn't like, and she's already stood up for a little girl in her class who was told that she couldn't grow up to be a knight because she was a girl. My daughter is amazing and I'm convinced that helping her develop a strong, positive, Feminist identity from a young age is going to only be helpful.

I know it won't spare her all of the experiences that you and I and every other woman I know have had in our youth, but maybe it will give her the tools and confidence to respond in a self-empowering (not self-shaming) way. And I hope that will go for my two children on the way, although I definitely have some angst about how to raise a boy with the same amount of self-respect and confidence, but a sense that he shouldn't use the priviledges that automatically come with being a boy against girls.....ahhh!

Kim T | 10:39 AM

Rock it woman!! So awesome.

Mammy P | 10:40 AM

No words; just love.
x

Amelia | 10:43 AM

Woooooeeee, your sharing this is really well timed! This is kind of a wish-we-had-a-cup-of-coffee blog moment because there's so much that I would like to share in response but then I remember that it's the internet and all that, so I'm trying to distill it down into two things:

1. Having a baby gave me my body back. Like too many women, it had been taken at the wrong time, and when I realized that I could grow and deliver life, something very personal and very awesome switched inside of me.

2. I was so afraid of having a boy because I didn't know what a boy would want or need...or so I thought. Now after 2.5 years of getting witness the world through my son's eyes, after getting in on the club, after pointing to helicopters reflexively whether he's in the car with me or not...now I am getting pretty jittery at the prospect of ever raising a girl.

And finally this: I am the same but different from you in that I am the youngest of five and the only girl. I was so surrounded by boys and men for so long that in a way I always wanted out of that club, and in another way, I'm still pretty shy about dealing with women because I don't always get it. Growing up on a farm as the only girl has given me this motto as a woman: the desires to wear lipstick and drive a tractor don't have to be mutually exclusive. Ironically, giving birth to a son helped me get there. Thank you so much for sharing this!

kjensen | 10:44 AM

This is so wonderful, This is my first time reading your blog and it is amazing! I want to ask you and your readers if they know of a handbag company theat sells velvet purse's, I found one called velvetpepper.com I would like to buy one they are like the Cake bags i just wanted to see if anyone else has used this product and what they think.

Alyssa | 10:46 AM

I realized, only after reading your post, how much I, too, am afraid of having daughters. I realize now, though, that regardless of all the terrible I witness by being a girl in a world amongst other girls, that not all girls go bad. In fact, I know quite a few fantastic girls. Something tells me Fable, Bo, and Rev will be on that list, too.

Thanks for your writing.

BookishPenguin | 10:46 AM

Beautiful, wonderful. I have often said I don't want a daughter because raising a girl would be "too hard." But it's not about raising a girl, it's about raising a good human being, regardless of gender, and it's hard either way. My son is a gift, and I think a daughter would be too, of a different type/light.

This post just makes SO much sense to me. So much. And congratulations to you for working all of that out. What an ongoing journey it is. Thank you for letting us share in it.

Jules | 10:47 AM

This is hands down my favourite post ever. And I have read them all. I dont have any children yet, but I feel like you read my mind about EVERYTHING. Wow. This comment can't even really express how Im feeling. Simply put--thank you.

Anonymous | 10:52 AM

As a man, I am sorry for what men have become, and let themselves become.. and as a Man, I can sincerely say that you are an amazing person. :)

Anonymous | 10:55 AM

Wooo! That was amazing. Thank you.

Anonymous | 10:57 AM

I am always amazed at how honest you can be on your blog. It is trully inspiring. You write down what so many of us are already feeling. thank you so much!

And you family - OMG - your family is just so damn beautiful!!

booshwash | 11:01 AM

Thank you for your words, your honesty. This. This is why I regularly come to this blog - in hope of finding treasures like this. I can only imagine how much emotion this drains out of you while composing such words. Thank you for your strength and bravery in sharing your heart so that we, your humble readers, can take something from you and grow from it ourselves. You have a gift. Thank you for this.

Stephanie | 11:02 AM

I am moved to tears by this. I feel the same way, exactly, though I have 2 wonderful sons and no daughters. My responsibility, then, is to teach them to respect all other humans. We're working on it.

Angela | 11:07 AM

I love what you write. And can relate to so many things you say. I have three boys and one girl and am discovering that honoring the whole idea of feminism almost as important for the boys as it is for my daughter. Thank you for this post. "not man hate, but woman love" Love it! Thank you for writing everything your write and sharing everything you share.

Anonymous | 11:12 AM

So true and thank you for having the balls to put it out there... You are one kick ass Mommy!

angi | 11:12 AM

There aren't words to describe the overwhelming feeling of YES! that this brings out in me. It's my own daughter that makes me know I want her to be better, stronger...believe in herself.

Yes! Shouted loud and proud!

Anonymous | 11:15 AM

I wrote a post on Internationl Woman's Day asking anyone to speak up if they were proud to be a feminist, men and women alike. Only one person did. I might not have a large blog following, but more than one person reads it.

Feminism is an advocacy for women's rights on the grounds of equality between the sexes. Being a feminist means you believe in feminism. It means you support equality between the sexes, which extends to boys letting girls play with them, girls letting boys play with them, and everyone being free from workplace sexism and sexual advances. A true feminist cannot be a man hater or want men to be lesser than women because that is not equality between the sexes. It's subversive, which is what feminism rallies against.

I know SO MANY women who say they aren't feminists and it really pains me because I feel the original ideal of feminism has been lost. The 'man hating' message of some groups who loudly call themselves feminists leaves most people spitting out the word feminism like it's a bite of rotten apple when really, that message is so far from what feminism is all about.

Your post is excellent, and I am sincerely heartened that more than one person, so far, has supported and cheered for your acceptance of feminism.

- Katie

Melanie | 11:16 AM

Thank you for writing this. So many equate feminism with man-hating and as a feminist, wife, and mother to a baby boy, I'm glad to see you clearing up misconceptions. So important for us to see feminism as a movement about equality rather than bashing or privileging one gender over the other. You rule!

liz | 11:20 AM

Amen. AMEN.

glenda | 11:23 AM

Wow! This is amazingly beautifully written. I can so relate and I definitley became that force for my children (a son/a daughter) once I became a mother, and I'll be damn if I back down ever!

Thanks for sharing this!
You and your girls in that picture... beautiful x4 :)
xo

katie80 | 11:24 AM

I'm so happy to see this post. I remember reading your Masculist post years ago and that it made me sad that such a strong woman was afraid of calling herself a feminist. You and your family will only benefit from your realization. Woe to anyone who tries to marginalize you from here on out!

tara | 11:26 AM

Rebecca,

Thank you.

Anonymous | 11:35 AM

saying yes before they could ask, saying yes for all the wrong reasons.. all of it…. my mother a victim never able to help me, to show me.. i will not, i dont know how yet but i will teach my daughters to love themselves for being themselves and for being women. i have been following you for years and never commented, although I love all of your writing.. This has touched me in a way that i cannot express… Thank you and much love to you and your girls - from me and mine

Anonymous | 11:39 AM

Thank you sweet strong Rebecca.

Megan | 11:43 AM

I hated being a girl growing up. I hated myself. I used that hate to let people hurt me in ways I'm just now starting to comprehend. I always thought I'd be a mother to only boys. And then I had my daughter, and it was like the sky opened up. She made me love myself, my gender, my body...and now I (we) can do anything. Thank you for your post. Your writing speaks to so many, myself included.

Sarah | 11:45 AM

Just like your words, you are powerful. I am sorry you experienced life through the lens of hating to be female, but despite feeling sad due to our shared experiences I am also hopeful about what's ahead. Thank you for honestly and openly sharing, as your story surely inspires change and empowers us all. Simply brave. Simply strong. Simply you. Love to you and yours.

kbm | 11:59 AM

This is probably my favorite thing you've written in the 2+ years I've been following. Thanks, thanks, thanks.

June | 12:04 PM

All of this is just so amazing. I feel like I can relate and want to share a thousand things right back, but I'll just reiterate everyone else and say yes! I've finally learned too, and it feels great.

kelly | 12:07 PM

Fuck if this isn't one of my favorite posts you have written.

Thank you for your honestly, your vulnerability, your transparency, for saying what is sometimes so incredibly hard to say.

Your daughters are lucky to have you for a mother. As an example of what a woman can be like.

Bravo. Bad Ass.

Love,
Kelly
www.kellytadlock.com

Elizabeth | 12:12 PM

Wow. Thank you for this. I have two awesome little boys and I'm pregnant with our third. We don't find out girl/boy for a few more weeks. My hubby is DYING for a girl, but I'm more than a little intimidated by the thought of a daughter for many of the same reasons you describe. This has given me so much to think about...maybe I am good enough at being a girl? Maybe I could be a good mother to a daughter.

sal | 12:18 PM

BAM.

You moved this mother of 2 girls to tears...
Thank you.
s.

Hespyhesp | 12:19 PM

Best. Post. Ever.

Wow. I can so relate-- not to the not wanting to be a girl part. I did want to be a girl. I wanted to be a beautiful girl. One that wasn't pale or flabby. One that had a nice body, nice personality, friends, a boyfriend, a dad that didn't think he was a prophet. I wanted to be somebody else... But I ended up letting the same things happen to me. I was sexually harrassed at every job I'd had until I cam to the present one. And I never did anything about it except for blame myself. I'm still finding my voice at 28 and only after I've become a mother.

Aubyn McT | 12:26 PM

beautiful and true.

Ashley, the Accidental Olympian | 12:29 PM

Those three little women in your life are so lucky to have you as their mother. You as their roll model. And Archer, even more so.

Thank you for this.

Doggerina | 12:29 PM

Wow. I'm totally overwhelmed with emotions after reading your post. I feel stronger now being the adult I am. I feel stronger feeling the strength you have to write the way you do and share with us things we might not be able to articulate as well as you are able to do. But I'm also sad for the girl I was, so much like you, so afraid. I'm also sad for girls who are feeling that way now and I wish I could send your writing to each and every one of them.

Thank you for sharing this with us.

Cara | 12:32 PM

"brought the sun, dried up all my angst" WOW... you nailed it. I feel the same about my children! Thanks for your powerful words. To some this might only be a blog, but you have no idea how many women you have touched with our words...

Becca | 12:33 PM

I love your honesty. You say the things I wish I had the courage to say.

Thank you.

GIRL'S GONE CHILD | 12:42 PM

Wow. I love this team so much. Thank you.

pamela | 12:49 PM

WOW...you are awesome beyond compare!! I always argue that feminism isn't just woman-love but HUMAN-love. I believe feminism...true equality is as much a male issue as it is a female issue. Men too have been harmed by the inequality of our society. We are all in this together!

Michelle | 12:49 PM

This speaks to my core. Beautifully written. Someday, I am going to share this with my own three daughters, when they need to hear this too. Thank you for sharing your soul with us.

Erin | 1:00 PM

Love this. Dude you are bad ass. Thanks for being real and for your amazing realization and transformation. Being a human being is hard but that is not an excuse. Love it!

birdgal (another amy) | 1:02 PM

I love, love, LOVE this post!! You speak the truth--'feminism' is not about 'man-hate', it's about loving/respecting yourself enough to demand a fair place 'in line'. Hopefully this sentiment is something I can instill in my own daughter as well. Such awesome stuff, thanks for sharing Rebecca!

jessicapea | 1:03 PM

What an amazing post. Thanks for putting what so many of experience into words ,something you always do so well. Rock on sister!

Jill | 1:04 PM

So glad you joined the team! Welcome and what an heartfelt story. Thank you.

You will be an awesome woman and mother to your 4. You already are in my mind, but I can see that you'll never stop improving your abilities.

I, thankfully, had parents/friends/community that made sure I learned to stand up for myself and know my own worth from birth practically. My mother is a feminist as well, which accounts for most of it. As a teacher, it is one of my life goals to encourage other young people to do the same.

L khoury | 1:06 PM

Thank you.
I am still working on saying NO.
Too many times in childhood and then in young womanhood I was too scared to say it, but I have a daughter now and there is no way in hell I would ever want those things to happen to her.
When I was pregnant I recall sobbing to my husband that I didn't want to go to our ultrasound and see she was a girl because I was too afraid that if I raised a daughter she would be hurt, and that my heart would break in a million different ways. Living through that kind of pain was hard enough for me and I couldn't imagine watching something like that happen to my own child. I thought to be a girl meant living under threat of violence or abuse and I was terrified. But she's here and she is so kick-ass and inherently brave, there is no way I can accept the status quo. All I can do is show by example that she can make it through the world and be a creature of light. Therefore everyday I say nothing but kind things about myself, about her, and about others. I try to draw myself up to my full spiritual height and own the space I am in. If there is only one lesson that I could impart to my children it is that of respecting yourself and setting boundaries and limits. I try and try and try for not only for her, but for her two brothers.
You have further inspired me. Because all our children, ladies or gentlemen, deserve to be treated with respect by themselves and by others.

Anonymous | 1:11 PM

Bravo Rebecca!
Strong words from a strong person!
And how pathetic was that boss? How incredibly invasive, it is incredible what some people think they can get away with. I hope you print off this blog entry and send it to him, if only to show him how small and utterly pathetic and dirty he is, and how you have risen far, far, up and away from his abuse. With every voice that is raised against this kind of behaviour, it becomes harder to hide. Bravo!

AliceHarold | 1:24 PM

This is amazing.

I would like to recommend the best book I've ever read about being a non-feminist Feminist, 'How To Be A Woman' by Caitlin Moran- http://www.amazon.co.uk/How-Be-Woman-Caitlin-Moran/dp/0091940745/

Lisa | 1:25 PM

Thank you for this post. I realize that I am similar to you in many ways, but with a different story. I think I have always been the yes girl, and now in my 20s I am finding my own voice.

I don't know what made me this way. Is it just society? My mother is a feminist, but she raised me with almost an attitude that outside beauty was bad. Don't be barbie. I do wish there had been more of a balance in her view. I still have an issue with thinking I am pretty and that it's OK to be pretty.

You are right women have to put up with a lot of shit. I was sexually abused as a child and for many years I thought it was my fault until I went to counseling in my late teens.

Three days into my first job an IT guy came down to my office to fix a problem on my computer. He was rude, hitting on me and ended up massaging my shoulders. It made me so uncomfortable and when I got an e-mail survey from IT I filled it out and documented the incident. This guy ended up getting fired and at age 21 I remember feeling guilty that this guy lost his job. Rebecca, you are right. I also need to stop being a yes girl. When that man was massaging my shoulders I should have stood up, turned around and told him assertively "do not touch me!" From there I should have went to find his boss. Instead I meekly filled out a survey!

I think society has a lot to do with this. If a man has a big opinion people think it's good. If a woman has big ideas or opinions, she is a bitch.

Thank you again. I sort of fear having a daughter someday, but if I do, I want to raise her to not be a yes girl.

Adrianne | 1:26 PM

Beautiful post. That one you link, "Girl of My Dreams" has always been my favorite post of yours, ever. Re-reading it now though, I have to wonder if that little blonde-haired girl in your dream was not Boheme:) Do you think?
I think they have, all three of them, always been with you.

Suzy | 2:07 PM

Throughout my career (standup comedy) I always demanded the same as the guys. And rarely got it. Always had to fight for it. Often mouthed off if I didn't get fair treatment. Stood by open mouthed as Men In Charge lied about what men got compared to us women.

I formed my own standup group of 3 women and we toured the US and Canada for 8 years. Same old bullshit.

I had the feminists to goad me forward while I grew up, and now I tell all young women to GO FOR IT. It might not make you any friends along the way but it will make you feel like you're in charge of your own life.

Men don't look to make friends in the work place, they look for opportunities.

Dawn B | 2:10 PM

Beautiful! I so get this. I was a mom for 10 years, and then had a daughter and she has changed everything for me.

Annie | 2:10 PM

What is it about women/girls allowing men/boys to touch our bodies without our permission? God. It just makes me cringe to think of it---and it has happened so much to me when I was younger.

I was moved by your words, but the picture at the end of your post impacted me a lot as well. To see all those tiny beings clinging to you, touching you, *taking* from you (in a good way, I guess), brings me straight back to the days when my children were younger. It's just so exhausting and demanding and something you will never experience again once they are older. Such a hard road to travel though when you are on it---at least it was for me. I needed my *me* time. Here's hoping you can recharge and replenish and renew.

And, here's to feminism! Been trying to teach that it's not a dirty word my whole life.

Best to you!

mkat | 2:11 PM

hear hear.

jenny | 2:12 PM

<3

Anonymous | 2:16 PM

Lovely post.

The one thing I found confusing was how all of these awful things that happened to you by the hands of men made you hate women.

Regardless, I'm so happy about where you ended up in all of this.

xo

Kacey Haffner-Bruce | 2:41 PM

thank you for sharing!!
beautifully words

tam | 2:49 PM

Yes, Rebecca, yes. I keep reading this in complete awe, and I feel stronger every time I do.
My daughter was pushed in daycare, and she was pushed at the airport and pushed at the grocery store. In daycare, the workers think it's enough to tell the pushing boy "no pushing" but I know that my daughter has to learn to say "no". Just as you did. Just as we all should be able to do fearlessly. Every time someone does something wrong, there's so much power in calling it wrong.

Zana | 3:13 PM

THANK YOU!

Johi | 3:31 PM

This is HANDS DOWN one of the best posts that I have ever read. Ever. And I read a lot of blogs.
The words won't come so let me offer a meager fist bump of solidarity and appreciation. Love to you and yours.

Anonymous | 3:31 PM

Amen and amen...PREACH! Misogony is now on the 'down low' but it's there, girl, it's everywhere. It's so subtle, it crawled into your soul-- when all your soul needed was a skateboard! Thank you for writing this; it needs to be said/written over AND OVAH because the bias against women is still alive and just as defeating-- ENOUGH.

Karen

Nannette Spencer | 3:33 PM

I know for a fact that my two daughters saved me. Well, my first one saved me and my second one made me stand up and be counted for. It's a wonderful arrangement really....they save us and we, in return, save them.

Thank you for sharing all of this....you are amazing!

Anonymous | 3:39 PM

PS the undercurrent of misogony in our society is what made 'feminism a bad word'... Feminism is never bad- it is correct.

Karen

Amy | 3:43 PM

As the mother of a daughter, thank you. As a woman, thank you. I too wanted boys, scared of what it would mean to have a girl and have to be a strong role model. Accepting my past and building a bright future. Never could I have imagined the gifts I have been blessed with just from having this girl in my life. You are amazing! x

Liz | 3:52 PM

"Because contrary to years of personal belief, feminism isn't about man-hate but woman-love. It isn't about demanding a front row seat but a fair and just place in line. Because when we stand up to those who push us down, we stand up for so much more than ourselves. I know that now."

Fuckin' A.

Brilliant post!

Anonymous | 3:53 PM

Amazing! You are an f-ing badass!

megdc | 3:57 PM

THANK YOU.

Andrea | 4:04 PM

Great post!

jillian | 4:18 PM

Incredibly well said. Thank you!

Anonymous | 4:30 PM

Thank you for this. This was wonderful to read.

As a teen I was in a relationship with a boy I had adored for many years. A boy who was liked and admired and talented in many ways. And a boy who, for more than 2 years, beat, tortured, and raped me in private. For the length of our relationship he called me horrible hideous names belittling me specifically in regards to me being a woman. For so long after I t hought: of course. Its because I am a woman. And i hated feminism, hated the idea of womens rights, hated myself.

I now work at a battered womans shelter, and volunteer for a number of womens causes. I was almost arrested protesting the virginia personhood bill a month ago. I don't hate men, but I do love women, and I love myself. What used to make me broken now makes me roar. I am proud to be a woman and to fight for women. And if I ever have a daughter, ill make sure she knows how awesome and powerful she can be, the way you do for your three.

Rachelle | 5:15 PM

Thank you for this post. It resonates with me, deeply. You so elegantly put into words things I feel.
I will remember this as I will soon be raising a girl too.
Thank you!

julie in tx | 5:22 PM

Beautiful. Thank you, thank you for sharing.

Julie | 5:40 PM

Right on.

Janel | 6:22 PM

YES YES YES. My three daughters have had such an effect on myself and my feelings about myself as a woman.

M. | 6:29 PM

I was never that into women - never considered myself a feminist, hung out with hockey players in high school - and then I went to a women's college. You know what I learned after spending four years surrounded by women? We're smart and brave and funny and talented and un-fucking-believably awesome. I know so, so many amazing women who make me so proud to know that they're in the world and making it a better place. You're one of them.

Jennifer | 6:33 PM

One of your most amazing posts. Yes, yes.

Jessica | 7:34 PM

wow! Best post I have ever read on the internet. Thanks!

KAT | 7:36 PM

Incredible post. it speaks to my heart, thank you.

Noelle's Mommy | 7:53 PM

So incredibly true and very well said! There really is something about having a daughter that drives me as a mom. I want her to be so much more than I was growing up. Thank you for your post and honesty. Your family is so beautiful :)

Laura Chavous | 8:09 PM

This post really resonated with me. I too have struggled with accepting my femininity. I have always felt like women were weak and I didn't want to be like them. That meant not expressing emotions, not dressing feminine, being athletic etc. When I was pregnant with my first child I hoped for a boy. What in the world would I do with a girl???! I can't parent a girl...I thought. And turns out she was a girl. And I am so glad now. Now I have two girls! I read your link about Fable. It was so touching. I have learned so much from my girls. They have made me a better person. They have made me speak softer and buy headbands.They make me see things so differently. Daughters are something special. I can't explain it really. They are my new dream. (And that's what I named my blog)

Eva | 8:49 PM

Oh wow, this is THE POST you have written that sums up my feelings about myself, my feminism, my daughters, my boobs and ok, my biceps. Thank you for outing yourself as a feminist! It is not a dirty word, it is a word that every single self-respecting woman should be proud to wear, even if she hates labels as much as I do.

Was there some incident that caused this post today, now, or has this been brewing for awhile, say ever since you were 10 weeks pregnant??

SingsTheMagpie | 8:54 PM

Thank you.

Brandee | 9:42 PM

There are so many things I want to say but all I can manage right now is-thank you.

Michelle | 10:04 PM

Amazing. Beautiful. Courageous. Deep. Empowering.

Thank you for sharing.

Hot Mama | 10:48 PM

Thank you for sharing something so personal. Sometimes it seems that we pretend to be much more advanced than we actually are. Our experiences, as women, are important and lay the path we walk with our children.

Amelia | 10:53 PM

Fucking WOW. I am blown away, absolutely to my core by the awesomeness that is this. I want to read this to my 2 1/2 year old daughter. I want absorb it and Be Better For Her.
Thank you.

Roxane | 11:11 PM

This was just fantastic, one of the finest things I've ever read here.

Gemma | 2:05 AM

I absolutely relate. As a girl or a girlfriend what I could take or what I would accept came to an abrupt halt with my twin pregnancy (girls). All I could think was that I am showing my babies what is ok, how the world is and how they can expect to be treated and I wouldn't/couldn't take any bullshit anymore.

Great post, thank you.

Anonymous | 2:19 AM

You are so awesome. LOVE your blog.

Anna A | 4:34 AM

This is amazing and heartbreaking and inspiring. Thank you.

Anonymous | 5:16 AM

You are amazing! I am cheering here for you! Thank you so much for this post. I can absolutely relate. You have a very special gift of telling sharing evolving...
Much Love to you! Corinna

Brooke P. | 5:32 AM

I love you.

Katie | 5:33 AM

Seriously amazing.

Thank you for sharing, and for being you.

I can't get enough of GGC.

Shroom | 5:38 AM

Absolutely beautiful.

I recently read your archives and as a mother to a girl, I felt really uneasy about the masculist post. I wondered what had happened in your life that made you rile against women and I've thought similar when other women proclaim to be one of the boys excluding most female friends. I appreciate your honesty because it puts paid the theories that I had about these girls that were impossible to be friends with. There is only so many times I was willing to be ditched for the boys.

I read the previous post and felt more determined that I wanted my daughter to learn to be equal with all her peers so that when she is my age, she can identify with people instead of sex and race. I want her to learn that she has the power to live life as she wants and that her strength could someday give someone the courage to do the same. Her life should be spent building her own self esteem instead of propping up someone else's.

Your honesty is admirable, your lessons learned are ones we can share. If you can handle the cliches, welcome to the sisterhood, it's wonderful to have another member.

Love and light to your family.

Anonymous | 6:09 AM

I never learned to love even the tiniest bit of myself until I had kids. I didn't want them to see my self-loathing. They were worth it. And then, suddenly, I was too.
So beautiful, Rebecca, your words are so beautiful.

Anonymous | 6:14 AM

I related to this in so many ways... some parts I couldn't believe you even put out here, for all of us to see, I guess because I'm still at a point where I find shame in my past. Like you said, time is a healer. I guess I'm getting there... and this post really helped! Thank you.

Kelley | 6:15 AM

This post speaks to me on so many levels. Thank you. This may be your best post yet.

Anonymous | 6:49 AM

Have you come across this video? In the same (amazing) vein as your post, I think. Hope you like it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M6wJl37N9C0&feature=youtube_gdata_player

Angie

Anonymous | 6:55 AM

Sorry, link didn't work - try this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M6wJl37N9C0

Angie

Molly | 7:01 AM

Thank you so much for this...it's so moving to me, hearing you speak up about your experiences...because I can't yet about my own. I'm glad you're owning up to being a feminist! I think there are even more ways that this is pro-Archer than you mentioned here, besides just feminism not being anti-Archer. Feminism means boys can be whoever they want to be too; it means they can demand family time too, they can be sensitive too, they can be nurses, dancers, pre-school teachers, stay-at-home dads without worrying about someone else's stupid ideas about gender roles. It also means they can own up to feeling objectified too when it happens in *their* workplace, because we see now that nobody is programmed to be an asshole--or not to be an asshole--just because of their sex. Feminism is about empowering all of us to be our true, complex selves. Brava!

Katie | 7:04 AM

Can I just say how perfect this was for me to read this morning. I found out on Friday that my 2nd child is going to be a girl. My reaction has not been what I expected. I am scared. I am worried. I guess it was because I had no self worth. I allowed someone I was supposed to trust abuse me as a child. And then I turned to hiding behind drugs for my teen years and doing stupid shit to pretend that I just did not care.


I know once this girl babe is in my arms my fears will vanish but right now what I thought would be joy is fear. How will I protect this girl? Luckily she will have an amazing father and an amazing brother to help me. Thank you for sharing it makes me feel less guilty about being so scared and just not completely sure.

Anonymous | 7:15 AM

Rebecca I love you. Thank you thank you thank you.

nikki_lagreca | 7:16 AM

This is so amazing - I don't have words. Thank you.

MidLyfeMama | 7:18 AM

Thank you for writing this.

Anonymous | 7:51 AM

Yes! Awesome writing. I love you!

Karen | 7:58 AM

WOW! You're right and you're beautiful. Thank you for the pride I'm left feeling after having read this.

Amber S | 8:05 AM

A good reminder that even a woman as strong, beautiful, interesting and seemingly put-together as you has struggled. We all have (or are). My heart swells with wanting to make it easier for us all. Thanks for your words.

Chelsey - The Paper Mama | 8:15 AM

I just wandered through your comments and noticed how many people are relating to you. Just like I can. Different situations. Different life. But, similarities.

With these tears in my eyes i say thank you for writing.

- chelsey

Emily | 8:20 AM

This is my favorite post of yours to date. It brought tears to my eyes.

While I can't fully relate to your life experiences, I was also of the mind that I only wanted to have sons ... The pressures and problems of raising girls in this world just seemed like too much. Too much heartache. Too much responsibility. And I've never thought of myself as much of a "girl" anyway ...

But, just five days ago, I gave birth to a daughter (so the timeliness of this post is perfect for me). Gender unknown until the doctor announced it in the delivery room, I was absolutely blown away. A girl. Unexpected and (if I'm honest) not my "preference." But, having her here for these past few days, I am already feeling a bit changed. She is perfect ... And I only hope that I can be woman enough to raise her to believe that herself!

Sassy Molassy | 8:33 AM

I love this post. I reacted in the opposite way to things: I hated men and set out to belittle and make them cry to prove that I was lovable, powerful, worthy. I always believed I would have only girl babies, because nothing male could ever come from me. And then when I was pregnant with my oldest (of 4), I knew he was a boy because I no longer felt that way. Mothering two sons has been very healing for me. But I am really glad I have two girls, too.

Corky | 8:42 AM

You put into words what I think. Thank you. Your daughters will be beautiful women.

My Bottle's Up! | 9:00 AM

oh bec, thank you for this. i have wrestled with my feelings about birthing this little lady in my belly for many of the reasons you mention. i need to marinate on this one. reread it. absorb it. but i am thankful.

Laura | 9:28 AM

I have had similar things on my mind and in my heart for a long time now regarding daughters. I can't tell you how much I appreciate your willingness to be vulnerable.

EMQ | 9:59 AM

I was always a boobs out feminist from the time I was a wee lass, but I think it came from the same place you your masculism did..I wanted to have the same freedom and sense of entitlement as all the boys I saw. Growing up and playing in bands and seeing men in environments where there aren't any other women around has made the feminism/envy even stronger. Because in my heart of hearts I'm a community-wanting, people-pleasing rule-following woman mama -- but I want to be a self-involved life-living rule-breaking dude man a lot of the time. So I get angry...Yes I can be a very angry feminist. Thanks for writing about your struggles, and also writing about the need for balance. For finding that place where it's not about one sex dominating, but rather about finding the power that we all have to stand up for ourselves and love ourselves, male or female. I definitely needed to read that.

Jackie Hall | 10:35 AM

If honestly would be standing up and applauding you right now if you were in front of me.

I'm so glad you are finding love for yourself and that you have learned to defend yourself. Your girls will be stronger because of you teaching them.

I have a feeling this post is going to hit your mom very hard. But, your words had to be written. Your words will open the eyes of other women.

I have watched you become this even more increadable woman throught the glimpses in your life. From when Archer was a baby and the angst you had then to the increadably strong woman and mother you are now. It has been increadable watching you grow into the person you are today. I know I don't know the total you but the part you let us see is amazing. Thank you for always being so willing to open up and share even the most difficult parts of your life. Your words will bring healing to many.

Michelle | 10:36 AM

AWESOME POST! U go girl!

From Tracie | 10:39 AM

This made me cry so much. I am the mother of an eight year old, and I still struggle with my feelings about women and being female and everything that comes with it.

TKTC | 10:52 AM

I am cheering at my desk. And feel very lucky to be working in a place that cheers with me when I send the post around. Beautifully, forcefully said.

Anonymous | 11:19 AM

As a newish mother with a baby girl, thank you for sharing this.

donaleen | 11:36 AM

Ithink you are almost 35 years younger than me. It makes me sad that women are STILL up against this crap.

Pish Posh | 11:52 AM

Wow. This is a tremendous introduction to your blog. Can't wait to read more.

Feminism does not mean man hate it means woman love. Very nice :)

Anonymous | 12:21 PM

I just love that, Rebecca. And from my very own heart, at the bottom, I thank you.

Shelley | 12:22 PM

I cannot tell you enough how much this post meant to me and how much I can relate. I let so many things happen to me as a teen and young adult that I just assumed happened to all girls and I was expected to go along with it. Along the way I really started to detach from body, myself and almost felt like I was watching myself, watching these things happen, that they weren't really happening to *me*. It breaks my heart to remember that and also that you've been there too. I came into feminism thanks to a human sexuality class I took in college leg by two lovely feminist women. I grew up in a very small, sheltered, conservative town and grew up in church so I always thought feminists were these evil women that hated babies and men, didn't wear makeup, etc. I was shocked as a 19-year-old to learn how simple feminism really is. I was also horrified to see just how much I'd let myself be taken advantage of, used, abused, and that is *not* okay, that I do have the right to defend myself. Feminism is nothing more than wanting to be treated fairly and with compassion. This makeup-wearing, man loving, leg-shaver momma of two proudly carries the title of feminist. I'm glad you do too. Thank you for this post. <3 <3

Anonymous | 12:25 PM

Oh my goodness. This was so powerful I had to stop reading and come back later. I finished it with tears in my eyes. I remember all of what you describe. And my parents were good, no great, parents and yet they couldn't protect me from this. Now I have a girl and I'm wracking my brain--what did they do that was wrong? What did they leave out? What can I give her so she doesn't have to go through the self-loathing and hunger for acceptance at any cost?

Laura | 12:27 PM

Hooray for feminism! I think a lot of women going through this period of self-hate before realizing that feminism has a lot to offer. You are definitely not alone.

Sherrill | 12:43 PM

I've read your blog for years, and don't think I've ever commented. But I need to today. This is maybe my favorite thing that you've ever written and I hope it's one of yours. Because it's important. Your girls (and your boys--both big and little) are very lucky to have you!

Anonymous | 12:59 PM

Thank you, Rebecca. I relate to a lot of this. And I have 2 daughters, too, and am trying to find my way to being the kind of role model I want them to have. This helps.

Keep being awesome.

Cedes | 1:16 PM

Your writing is beautiful and touches me in so many ways. Thank you for writing about all of the things that you do. And helping me realize that I am not alone....

AmandaRose | 1:26 PM

Thank you. I have goosebumps after reading this because I relate so closely.

Anonymous | 1:51 PM

Thank you.

Jennifer | 2:03 PM

I want to comment on the female friendships part of your story. As a pretty, social, but not very sexy-looking girl, I spent my teen years envious of girls who had the attention of boys. I thought "you" were so lucky and that "you" wouldn't want to be friends with me, so I never tried to make female friendships with girls who were popular with boys. How silly. How unfortunate. I never realized that those girls might have complications with their sex appeal; I was just so self-centered on my seeming lack of it.

I love being older now and befriending women I would have been intimidated by in high school. You know how you wrote your "age" is 13? Well, mine is probably 30, so now at 29 I finally feel about right.

Thanks for writing and opening heart to those girls from the past.

Katie | 3:19 PM

Amazing. beautiful, powerful, and true. Thank you.

Not Quite What I Expected | 4:37 PM

Thank you for being so real, so open, so honest here on the internet where so many people come, paradoxically, to hide.

Ashlie | 4:44 PM

You kind of just wrote my soul. I am terrified of having a daughter. This post brought tears to my eyes.

Anonymous | 4:58 PM

thank you so much for sharing this, and for inspiring so many of us that grew up thinking the same things that you did that we can learn to be as strong as you have. you rock :)

Beth A | 5:00 PM

Yes. Thank you. I can relate- this is me, and I just took something really valauble and attitude changing from this. Tears in eyes.

AJ's Mom | 5:50 PM

I heart you so much! More even than the fabulous Amazonian shot of you with your girls. But, what I love most of all is that at the same time that you were sitting, watching, and not skating, I was too. It looks like there were quite a few of us, and I can only imagine that if we had met back them we would have rolled our eyes at each other. It's amazing and miraculous that we have found each other now. Now, that we can embrace each other and ourselves as women. Thanks for this post and for being such a great "friend-in-my-head" :)

Lauren Knight | 5:57 PM

Hell, YES! This was amazing.

Stacey | 6:06 PM

very special post, thank you.

Holly | 6:45 PM

"It's a lot of responsibility, being a person; male, female, we all want things from each other."

Um, loved this.

Any chance we can get more details on the confrontation with that guy in line? I found myself trying to picture how I'd handle it and a seemed to come back to just being mad and not saying anything!

Claire Gibson King | 7:16 PM

wow, what a post. thank you so much for sharing this. you are an amazing woman, wife and now most importantly mom! your beauty shine inside and out and so much on your girls.

Gini M | 7:45 PM

I love the honesty and straight fowardness. I still have issues myself and I can relate to what you were saying. I still have so much trouble standing up for myself. I have two daugthers now and I want them to be strong and learn to respect themselves, their bodies and learn to say no like you were saying. You got me thinking. Thank you.

Anonymous | 8:21 PM

FUCK YES.

Anonymous | 9:11 PM

I had a similar experience at my first job when I was barely 23 as well. I've only recently started to unravel things and process it all. You are a brave, strong, creative, and fucking smart woman. I truly love what you have to say. Thank you for being.

mama michelle | 9:12 PM

I don't even know what to say. I don't relate to everything you wrote about... some of it is so raw. Your voice is beautiful, and even though I haven't gone through the same things in life, I cried. I cried, I think because I have my first baby and I worry about raising him to be a good man. Maybe because I have felt small and incapable and unsure of my power and influence in life because I am a woman, a girl.

Thank you for sharing.

Susan | 4:19 AM

This. This is beautiful.

i never understood why a woman would reject feminism, and so it was interesting to read your older post, too.

Feminism is all about not being tied down to our biology, our reproduction, and it works well for men, too. Men shouldn't have to hide emotions, to appear strong all the time. It's freeing, really.

Unknown | 8:13 AM

You should repost this every year! It is amazing.

Jen | 9:25 AM

Hell yes. It is hard to be human and it is really hard to stand up for yourself. I still figuring it out for myself, but I've been pushing myself to be strong more than I ever have before. For once, I feel very lucky to be quite tall and sturdy, because that physical presence helps me mentally.

Thanks for sharing.

Rae | 12:40 PM

I really needed to read this. Thank you so much for sharing! It was therapeutic.

xo
Rachel
http://picklesandchapstick.blogspot.com/

katsalem | 1:05 PM

Every female should have a chance to read this. Thank you.

Anonymous | 2:24 PM

My switch is flipping, but slowly. It's more like a dimmer switch. In the meantime, I once wrote a poem about this very thing. It's called "Brothers".

I will never be one of brothers
long-limbed and burning satisfaction
through tacit cigarettes.

A girl is always there,
raising mountains on a prairie ceremony,
butting curves in the course.

I will never be curveless or broad-handed
or hard-mouthed. I will never know
a brother’s flat frontier.

The wordless wild only opens herself
for boys and illusions in shrug-shoulder blouses.

Aimee | 3:43 PM

Soooo, is now the time I tell you that I used your blog (along with 3 others) for my 3rd-Wave feminism paper? I'm half-tempted to email it to you. I got an A on it, after all!
In all seriousness, I think there are some major issues that work to undercut feminism. I probably don't need to list them, so I won't. However, we need to stick together. Solidarity, baby! (Or, in your case, baby girlS).

Melinda | 5:35 PM

My mother raised her six daughters to be strong fighters. We stand up for ourselves, for each other, for our sister who has Down syndrome. We stand together - whether that's against other women, men or mixed. We believe we can do anything we want - even if that's a stay at home mom. All of us were so excited to find that I am carrying identical baby BOYS so we could love them to pieces. I am looking forward to teaching them how to love a woman and respect women. I'm grateful for the example she gave me. It stays with you when you watch your mom stand strong with her head held high. Your daughters and son will remember that about you.

Holly from 300 Pounds Down | 6:28 PM

What a powerful post this is!!!!

ELP | 4:51 AM

This is so raw and needed. As a victim of sexual abuse as a child I just say Amen, Amen & I am not even religious.

;)

Tammy | 8:39 AM

Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Beautiful words!

The Bedraggled Mom | 9:22 AM

I have three sons and this post made it painfully clear to me how important it is to raise them as gentlemen. Gentlemen who will treat the girls and women around them with respect and love. Who will be worthy of strong, empowered women like the ones you are raising. Thank you.

Anonymous | 9:43 AM

Thank you so much for these words:

" feminism isn't about man-hate but woman-love. It isn't about demanding a front row seat but a fair and just place in line. Because when we stand up to those who push us down, we stand up for so much more than ourselves."

I worked for a female boss who happened to be the biggest bully in the universe. Even though I walked away from the job 2.5 years ago, I was only recently able to come to terms with the situation.

Thank you for sharing your experiences with us.

Unknown | 10:00 AM

I feel like you just wrote about my experiences and how I thought growing up. Thank you for writing this so poignantly :)

I listened to this a while back and it really spoke to me. I'm not sure if you will have time, but if you do I hope you find it as relevant as I did:
http://www.kqed.org/a/forum/R201203021000

Thanks again for writing this :)

Wacky Mommy | 12:30 PM

love this post. thank you.

Bekka Ross Russell | 2:03 PM

LOVE. Been waiting for this for years, Bec - I was so sad with your posts before Fable was born and so thrilled to see you come to get over your resentment through loving her... and now them. You're a superhero. Thrilled. And so important that women everywhere realize that feminism is not the f word, that it is not man hate, that it is simply, as another Rebecca (West) put it, "the radical notion that women are people." Amen, mama.

Dari Perry | 3:45 PM

WOW... this is amazing. You are so strong and aware. Thanks for sharing and thanks for loving yourself like you should and being a great example for your daughters and all of us.

Anonymous | 4:07 PM

Bec, this is all kinds of brilliant. I love you, and you just kick ass for being able to write something as awesome as this.

Anonymous | 3:13 AM

Thank you so much

Anonymous | 5:34 AM

Thank you so much for writing this.
I just recently started to deal with feminist issues and bullying and it's sad that many of us had to deal with bullying of all kinds, but times will keep changing if we do.
I have tears in my eyes, this is so touching.

I wish you all the best

Miz Kizzle | 6:02 AM

Did you shove or strike the rude guy in line at the market? I hope not because as justified as it may have been, you might have been charged with assault and hauled off to the nearest cop shop.
Getting physical with antagonists is never a good idea. I have found that angry jerks hate being laughed at more than anything. Mockery strikes directly at their swollen self-importance. A light but killing comment hurts a thousand times worse than any shove or punch.
As a lawyer I do battle with words against big tough men. It is intensely gratifying.

Lea | 10:06 AM

Empathy summarizes how I feel post-read. I lived my life as one of the boys and just now beginning to anticipate a family (6 months into marriage), this has me revisiting the notion of mothering a daughter. Thank you for writing this.

Roxanne | 10:43 AM

Beautifully written. I have 15 month old twin daughters. For reasons I won't post here, I refused to accept myself as "feminine." But, having little innocent and pure female humans has completely changed my perception of what is feminine. Amazing how we are blessed with these lessons through our children. <3

Paige | 11:21 AM
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Heather | 6:39 PM

One day before I giving birth, I said to my husband if this baby was a girl I'd be okay. I'd learn all the things that I needed to know when it came to little girls. I grew up with 2 older brothers. I was a tom-boy, my mom was not a shopper, girly-girl, etc. I'd learn because I thought I needed to do that. 39 years and 1 day before I had my last baby. My second son.

I am now learning to embrace my girlie side, for me. It took a long time to get to this place.

Thank you for sharing. I have so much to teach my boys, I want them to understand what being woman is all about. First, I need to make sure I understand myself. I'm working on it. I get better each and every day.

Heather Freeman | 10:58 AM

So much love for you and this post.

I always wanted a daughter so I could teach her to be strong and powerful in the face of an anti-feminist world. Now I have a son, and can't have any more children - but ive realized there's just as much challenge in raising a boy to be a feminist, to see girls as people and speak up when he sees anyone not being given their fair place.

Emily | 10:00 PM

I LOVE this post! I could type more and more to tell you how I can identify with what you've written, but really, it'd just be the same as the first sentence.

Fight on, sister! You are worth it and your girls (and boy) are, too!

angela | 7:29 PM

You rock, woman.

Sara | 9:39 AM

This is so inspirational.

I admire you for being honest and open about your experiences, a lot of women (including myself) need to learn to stand up for themselves!

Thank you!

Cat G. | 4:37 PM

I keep coming back to this, reading it over and over, because it is so affirming, relatable, and honest. I've been grappling with the thought of my future daughter, given that my relationships with women have been strained and well, weird, and how I want something healthier for us. The way you've framed feminism has turned my perspective on its head and left me feeling empowered and optimistic. I'll keep coming back to this when I need a little reminder. Thank you so much.

gina | 9:07 AM

thank you.

Ellesar | 10:24 AM

I had a strong girl preference, I have been a feminist from 13yo. I have had 2 sons. I will never know what it is like to raise a daughter, which is sad for me, but I have thought for a while that I now prefer having boys because the things that made growing up difficult for me are much worse now. At least in the 70s and 80s there were real changes made, and many women defining as feminist.

I know 2 young women who are feminists, but they are anomalous and mainstream culture is SO hostile to women. But I am glad for all the mothers of daughters who feel positive about their future - I just am relieved that some of those stresses are not going to be mine!

Ashley | 10:45 AM

HOORAY! I'm so glad that the switch flipped. So glad. You deserve to feel and be loved for ALL of you, even the "girl" parts. *HUGS*

Little Red Dog Studios | 4:16 PM

This, this, THIS!!! I love THIS so much. It is precise and timely and so very very important. You put into words what I cannot. I have 2 daughters and you best believe that I am going to do my damndest to make sure they understand the world is for them to partake in and not just WATCH. This is why at 35 I am learning drums (instead of dating drummers) and marathon training (instead of watching from the sidelines)-better late than never. NOW is the time for personal action to do the things we always thought weren't for us. It's never too late and that is my new mantra. The world is for us to experience and I am tired of sitting back and denying myself all of it. Kids learn by seeing what we do not hearing what we say. Action is truth! Thank you, thank you for being so awesome.

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