Monday, February 23, 2009

Is Feminist a bad word?

I've been surprised lately at my reaction to being called a feminist. My knee jerk reaction is "No I'm not!" but two years ago I would have said "Yeah, is that a problem?" with attitude. I have always been and will continue to be an advocate for strong women. Then why was I embarrassed when my roommate said my feminism is rubbing off on her or when she told a room full of people that I'd chose a feminist answer?

I've been mulling over the feminist label I've been given. For a bit I thought I had sold out my views. I thought I didn't want her blabbing to boys that I was a feminist and then there went any chance of dates this semester, but that was a stupid fear. Who wants a guy that's afraid of a feminist? Ridiculous. Then I realized it wasn't because I'd changed my views, but that I considered my views to be moderate. I just spent a semester in London learning about the "woman question" and realized that I owe the rights I enjoy now to some very intelligent and brave women. I owe it to them to consider my education, chance as a career, and respect from men as an intellectual equal as a right. No one, man or woman, can make me feel ashamed to expect that. If that makes me a feminist, than so be it.

So to in light of my revitalized image, I thought I'd let you in on a pattern that I've found in my Young Adult Lit. class. Remember J.K. Rowling? Of course you do. Well female writers who, like Rowling, write about male protagonist tend to use their initials instead of their first name. Why? Because then readers cannot make an automatic assumption on the sex of the author. As we've discussed in class, girls will read whatever they can,(perhaps because for the longest time we were only allowed novels) but boys have a harder time finding books they like and rarely pick up a book with a female protagonist. Boys are more likely to voluntarily read a male author than female author, so to make more money why not use initials so you gain male readers without alienating your female readers. Just a tidbit for you to think about the next time you pick up a book.


Mortensen Baby Farm said...

This is why I love you Kelsy!

Charlotte said...

Can I tell you how much I have enjoyed watching you grow into an amazing young woman!