Wednesday, March 2, 2011

What it means to me to be a 3rd waver

I don’t know a lot about feminism. I remember the first time I was asked, why was I a feminist, I had no response. I had never identified that way. I started my journey promoting health, because to me health equaled happiness. When I learned people could not live healthy lives because of social structures and factors outside of their control, I have became an activist for social justice.

My love for health, and comfort talking about sexuality and sex led me to reproductive justice, which opened my mind to feminist. I really claimed that work when I got engaged last summer. That was the first time I felt so much social pressure to perform, as a woman, and fit neatly into a construction of femininity that I did not identify with at all.

To me, being a 3rd wave feminist is being thankful for all the women before me that gave me the right to speak, to vote, and pursue ventures outside of the home. These women gave me the ability to go to school and pursue the career I wanted to. I never questioned going to college, because of these women. I was raised to believe I was intellectually, emotionally, and any other way as capable as my male counter parts to pursue my dreams in life.

These women gave me the pathway to an education, now my job as a 3rd waver is to figure out how I can make the world more justice with the privileged education I was able to receive. My job is to understand the intersects of race, gender, sexuality, abled-bodiness and any other identities or classes. My job is to work with environmentalist, organized labor, LBGTQA groups, and others that fight for justice and fairness of all people and the planet. My job is to make the world more fair for men and women, and fight more subtle battles of internalized and systemic oppression.

My job is also to prevent women and others from going back in time, when it comes to their rights. Everyday a war is fought over the rights of women’s bodies, their ability to receive equal pay as men, and many many other fights. There have been large gains within the women's movement, and it is my job as a 3rd waver to protect those advances and not let them go. The moment I think they will be there forever, is the same moment I leave myself and other sisters vulnerable.

My job is to work between generations, and foster hope and enthusiasm among youth within my movement. With out young people, the movement will not move forward.

Today was a long day. I saw a fetus testify, and was last to be heard in the hearing. I was one of few women in that room that spoke for themselves, and were not a prop for a radical anti-choice stunt.
This post rambles, I did not proof read it, but these words are true, honest and from my heart.
Trust me, a more substanial post will follow soon with all the details from the now infamous fetus hearing.
Thank you to all the amazing women in my life who inspire me!