Feminism: #HereWeAre

In honor of Women’s History Month and in light of the ongoing needs to continue talking about equality, #HereWeAre seeks to highlight the power of talking about feminism: what it means for us individually, what it means for us collectively, and why it’s one of the most powerful and life-changing parties around.This is a prime time to talk about our feminism, why we still need feminism, and to honor feminists of all shapes, sizes, colors, abilities, genders, sexualities, and more. Feminism is a party for all of us. Let’s celebrate.

The #HereWeAre hashtag honors the new book Here We Are: Feminism for the Real World, an anthology of art, essays, comics, and more from 44 voices on the topic of feminism.

Source: Thunderclap: Feminism: #Here We Are
Author: Kelly Jensen, editor of Here We Are: Feminism for the Real World & blogger at Stacked Books

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I need feminism because…

  • Women’s health concerns are more likely to be dismissed by doctors: How Doctors Take Women’s Pain Less Seriously (Oct 2015); Shame, Dismissal, Agony: Women With Endometriosis Speak Out (Mar 2017); Why are women with brain tumours being dismissed as attention-seekers? (Jan 2016).
  • My value as a wife should not be judged by how well I “keep house.” Like, I can’t remember the last time I found the oomph to clean without imminent guests (and for close family or friends, please don’t expect me to tidy very much). If I do find some oomph, I spend it on exciting things like cooking supper, taking a shower, leaving the house… not cleaning the fucking house.
  • Cussing doesn’t make me less of a woman, damnit.
  • My husband’s active participation in parenting and housekeeping should not seem rare when my mom friends and I talk about “division of labor” in our marriages.

I practice feminism when…

  • Listening to women experiencing intersectional oppression and boosting their voices.
  • Advocating for bodily autonomy, especially for women; advocating for myself and my own body.
  • Showing my son that STEM is for everyone.
  • Allowing my son to experience and express his emotions.
  • Encouraging my son to engage in imaginative play of all kinds, including “domestic arts.”
  • Teaching my son gender is not binary; letting him tell me how his stuffed animal friends identify and which pronouns they prefer.
Ripley & Jones

Ripley (xenomorph slayer) and Jones (brave cat). Source: comingsoon.net

My feminist role models are…

  • Courtney Summers, who writes stories of young women grappling with the challenges of being female in circumstances all-too-relatable. (Yes, even the one with zombies has relatable struggle!)
  • Ellen Ripley (Alien franchise); if you have to ask why, like, DO YOU EVEN POWER LOADER FIGHT XENOMORPHS, BRO?
  • Emma Watson, Global Goodwill Ambassador of UN Women; see HeForShe for more info on the gender equality campaign.
  • Kaywinnet Lee “Kaylee” Frye (Firefly franchise), sex-positive mechanic who enjoys food, dresses however she wants, and defends what she loves.
  • Kelly Jensen, for her everyday feminism, for the anthology, for events like today’s, and of course for all the bookish commentary/content/etc.
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A Series of Firefly-Initiated Events

2002-2007: The Shiny Prologue

2002: Firefly airs on broadcast TV.
2003: I receive Firefly: The Complete Series on DVD for Christmas.
2005Serenity premieres; I see it in the theatre 5x.
2007I start running a Serenity RPG campaign via forum, then flake out due to illness.

2008: A Virtual Courtship

Mid-January, I stumble upon an article about Firefly-themed builds in the virtual world of Second Life. In the wee hours of January 17th, I create an avatar (Amyla Wakowski) and begin exploring. Within a week of joining Second Life, I discover a little burg named Blackburne Downport, home to Firefly roleplaying with a strong post-apoc influence. There, in Firefly’s Bar, I meet a variety of folk, including a wry blue-skinned, winged fellow named Cholgosh Swindlehurst, who tends bar and DJs a few times a week.

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What a cute, poorly rendered, not fully rezzed couple of nerds!

Onward, through January and beyond, Cholgosh and I hang out in the Downport more evenings than not. Although a 3-hour time difference was in play, I’m night owl battling insomnia and he’s typically online mid-evening to midnight Pacific US time so we have plenty of overlap in waking hours. We develop intense mutual crushes on one another as we spend all those hours both in-character and out-of-character.

February 13th becomes our official “coupleversary” when he confesses he likes me and I confirm the sentiment is mutual. We share more personal data than we have before.

February 14th, I write:

I swear I started on this Second Life thing purely for RP. I was going to play a character, play along with some storylines, interact with other characters, have my girl maybe make out with some cute soldiers or space cowboys at some point. But that’s really not how things are going at this point, because I blurred the line and put more of my own self out there than originally planned. And that line? Oh, it’s really, really blurry now because I have formed an attachment.

There are feelings, mutual feelings. I wasn’t looking for that, I honestly was just going to be a girl in the ‘Verse and keep it all there. I would have settled for RP romance, because I fall in love through characters all the gorram time anyway. I wasn’t expecting anyone to get attached to me, but I did wind up putting a lot of myself into my girl.

Mutual crushing, definitely. We don’t know how this’ll develop. It’s all very new.

Soon after Valentine’s Day, we connect via ICQ to chat outside of Second Life. While I’d intuited previously from various clues that there’s likely an age difference between us, his ICQ profile gives me the number: 20 years older, 47 years to my almost-27. I digest this fact and proceed to fall in love anyway.

February 23rd, I write:

Whatever this is, it’s getting bigger. He’s in love, we know that much is true. I still hesitate to label my feelings. I’m kind of terrified of feeling so much. It’s fast, isn’t it? Isn’t that what everyone will say? But what is an acceptable timeframe? As is, we hesitated, we waited to declare ourselves.

[…]

There are degrees of love. I am somewhere down the line, not all the way into your classic romantic love, but at one of the waystations. I don’t know how fast I’ll get all the way there, but I think maybe I’m headed in that direction.

I don’t know what will happen, but I know what I want to happen.

March 11th, I write: “I love him so fucking much.”

March 13th, our RP characters marry at the bar in Second Life where we met.

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MAWWIAGE

March 14th, he calls me from the video store he manages and leaves the cutest voicemail I may ever get: “Hey, Amy, it’s Jeremy. It’s, uh, I don’t know what time it is — noon, it’s 12:15 my time. I’m watching this movie — what am I watching? — August Rush. It’s about this kid and he’s a musician and it’s amazing and my heart is about to burst, so I had to call and tell you that I love you so fucking much. And now I’m gonna get back to work. But I just had to call, I really did. ‘K, bye.”

April 1st, I write: “I’m past being overwhelmed by the fact of this love; I could be constantly awed by the miracle of breathing, but breathing just happens, all the time. And this love’s like that — it just happens, all the time.”

Now

Nine years on, this love still happens; I fall for him, innumerable times over.