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brilliant post! thanks for sharing the story.

sarah g.

It's weird how many women say these days that they aren't feminists! How about Planned Parenthood selling t-shirts on their website that say "I had an abortion"? (This is true. I saw it myself and sent them an enraged letter.) I call this time post-post-feminism. And it is weird and wacky. Then again, I feel confident that there has never been a better time or country to be a woman. So there's that.


and thank you, hannah, for calling it brilliant!


Sara G. - People who say 'I consider myself a feminist' annoy me more than those who say 'I'm not a feminist.' Are you or aren't you, sister? Which just goes to show I'm definitely becoming a cranky curmudgeon.
Re the PP t-shirt? I get it. 4 out of 10 US pregnancies end in abortion; a third of US women will have one by the time they're 45. But we're supposed to hide it and feel ashamed. I wouldn't wear the t-shirt because I don't tell my business to strangers on the street - have no bumper stickers either. I've had two abortions. It would be good if women weren't scared to come out of the closet about it.


I'm going to be honest here, and if people start throwing tomatoes, I won't blame them. I recognoze the good accomplishments of the women's movement, but, maybe because I'm from a working class Irish Catholic background, I have an almost visceral dislike of even the word 'feminism.' I am horrified by the notion of women sitting in a circle examing their cervixes. I recognize the need for legalized abortion, but I hate the very idea of it. I feel that working class women and 'girly girls' as the saying goes, who prefer traditional women's roles, have been too often ignored or put down by feminists. I feel that, by too often adopting a white male role model of what constitutes success, too many feminists have thrown the baby out with the bath water. I admire Alice Walker who prefers the term "womanist" and who celebrates women's spirituality and traditions as herbalists, healers etc. I am not contradicting you Liz. I respect what you have presented here, but I am not able to feel differently about my objections, unfair as they may be.


Arupa, I am AMUSED by the memory of women lying around examining their cervices. As for people, whether they're feminists, Marxists, racists, or Baptists, who spend energy putting down other people, to hell with them.


You mention in your essay that poor people have been screwed in the name of feminism - not the feminists fault at all, but now we have children with both parents serving in a war zone, with talking heads calling women in combat a victory of "equality." Some women believe that men have co-opted the feminist movement to their own ends. Like, "You want to be equal, great - have at it. Work two jobs (or three as a cashier at Publix recently mentioned to me) or go fight in a war." I see Alice Walker's take as an effort to find a different and more tradition-based path to power for women, although one does have to believe in spirituality to buy into it. I do and I think Walker is really on to something. Maybe it hasn't caught on because there's no way men can make money off it.


lizzy, i'm alerting all and sundry to read this. so glad you're my sistah. and yes, i am a feminist, from the flibberty gibbet branch. and, our cervices were amazing and beautiful, like secret flowers.
herewith a pome:


Arupa - When I was supposed to be working, I was looking at an old book: Voices from Women's Liberation (1970). There was a list of demands from a women's rally, in Buffalo I think. Item one: free child care. Item two: Free universal health care. Guess what the women's movement hasn't accomplished? but not for lack of trying! Nobody ever wanted to be liberated to be overworked, underpaid, and forced to choose between our children and our livelihood.


It's a great post, Lizzy. I am a feminist, but first and foremost, I am a human bean, trying to find my way to self-love. My daughters are 20 and 16 at this point. I am learning almost daily from them: gender identity, shifting sexuality, racism, isolation, finding a place in society. I think the part of the blog that I love the most is the part where you talk about the homeless men in the park vis a vis the glass ceiling for executive women. There is so much work to be done! I see the patriarchy as winding down, the energy of women - which also resides in men, as I'm sure you know - more essential now if we are to move forward toward sustaining ourselves and the planet as opposed to devouring it all in insatiable greed.

Today is Luli's birthday. I am so lucky to have her in my life, and by extension now, to have your blog, too! Thanks. xo


Nettie - thanks for writing. I appreciate your optimism! It IS Luli's birthday; she claims to be 42.

Marie Y Bockwinkel

As the mother of a 25 year old daughter, I am even more a feminist than I was in the 1960's. I am kind of shy, so I didn't do the cervix exam (my own, or others)and I am too queasy to be in medicine. But otherwise, I am still onboard.


I am fascinated by body interiors. I once got to shadow surgeons for a day - THAT was a queasy and bloody experience. But I couldn't see my own cervix in the mirror - too near-sighted. Same when my son was born - they had a mirror up but I couldn't see it. (Also I was squinching my eyes shut with effort). Anyway, here's to women, feminists and not, to bodies, to babies, to human and animal kind. (And the glass of wine that's fueling my enthusiasm.)


I am a feminist, but I am a modern feminist. When I was younger I was undoubtedly a tomboy, I am now at university studying a degree in Mechanical Engineering so I've always striven to be considered equal to any man and think that in the most cases I am seen as equal. Oddly enough in engineering, it is so encouraged to be a woman that they are actually starting to discriminate against men - but that's another story!

What doesn't sit well with me is the assumption that feminists aren't allowed to want to be housewives. I must add that this is a belief I've only heard from non-feminists and really extreme feminists. In the same way that today, it is our right to chose to spoil our vote in an election, it is my right to acknowledge that feminism has done so much for us, persue traditionally man's line of work and then give that up to have a child and be a stay at home mum.

But Liz, you're right - here's to human kind!


Pippi - it's a treat to hear from somebody I've never met, and in the UK! Here's to your dreams, wherever they lead you.

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