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I am the “typical” feminist: white, middle class, college age woman. To most people, I exemplify what a feminist is, but people probably don’t see me as a feminist. I shave my body hair. I have a wonderful boyfriend who supports my every decision, especially the one to return to school to better myself. I am not a dyke. I would, however, consider my bisexual (which has been a stereotype tied to feminism). I am not an angry, white chick. I do not want to grab every man by the balls and crush them. I do not want to soar to the top of the corporate ladder. I am going to be a teacher, and hopefully own my own early learning center. I can’t wait to get married and have children.

Will I fight for equal pay for women? Hell yes I will! Do I care that women of color still make less than even I do? Of course I do! Will I get involved in activism against sexual abuse? I definitely will, because I am a survivor myself. So, am I a feminist? Yes I am and damn proud of it! Will I raise my children in an environment without gender bias? I will certainly try my damnedest. I am woman, hear me roar!

“Aside from the occasional dream of being chased by a man throwing hot dogs at me, I consider myself a fairly well-adjusted feminist. Yes, I sometimes imagine myself alone, late at night, surrounded by candles; the scent of incense fills the air as I scribble on little slips of paper, “Howard Stern-AWAY,” while a small doll, cut off at the waist and doused in gasoline, awaits its grim fate…So here I am. I have birthed of myself a wild and unruly feminist.” Higginbotham

There are so many essays that spoke to me in this book; however, “Chicks Goin’ at It” has to be one of my favorites. I knew when I read the title that it was going to be something I was going to enjoy. The words that Anastasia Higginbotham used to describe how she came to know who she was and is are truly mesmerizing. It was extremely hard for me to read some of the story because it resonated within me. I feel that Anastasia and I have come along the same path, in some very important ways. She tells the story of how she discovered her love of another woman. She tells the story of how she found herself within that love. And she tells the story of how she has embraced that love and furthered herself to find herself in the feminist movement. It is truly insightful.

“Sex in silence and filled with shame is sex where our agency is denied. This is sex where we, young women, are powerless and at the mercy of our own desires. For giving our bodies what they want and crave, for exploring ourselves and others, we are punished like Eve reaching for more knowledge. We are called sluts and whores. We are considered impure or psychotic. Information about birth control is kept from us. Laws denying our right to control our bodies are enacted.” R. Walker

Last year, I had the distinct pleasure of reading Rebecca Walker’s autobiography Black, White, & Jewish for my freshman English composition class and I have fallen madly in love with her. This woman’s spirit is absolutely beautiful and the fact that she is willing to share her experiences with the world. My other distinct pleasure was of having Professor Sophia Kowalski as my instructor. This woman is a self proclaimed “Polish, Catholic Feminist.” Having Prof. K as my inspiration was an absolutely amazing experience. But back to this article by Rebecca Walker was absolutely enlightening. Reading about Rebecca’s experiences again in love and life was food for thought. Women have such a double standard in this world where men are players and women are whores. “Lusting for Freedom” is a brilliant look into the mind of a brilliant, articulate woman.

“Our bodies are our own, our futures ours to mold. No one should be allowed to interfere with them. Whatever our reproductive choices, nobody can ever deny us our right to them.” Crews

“Once upon a time there was Me. Oh, there were others, I guess, but if they existed they would have to go through Me first. It was Me that made it possible for me t speak my mind without apology, laugh as loud as I wanted, think and feel freely, assume respect from others and most of all, play baseball.” Lennon

“Alienation is a key ingredient to keeping girls and women performing according to plan. It’s the backup system just in case the initial instructions on being a female don’t sink in.” Lennon

“But you not a girl, and you are not afraid to be a feminist, either, you are not afraid to shout and be pissed yourself. You know better than to think empowerment can be found between the house wares aisle and electronics, you know all the bumper stickers in the world don’t make up a community. Your revolution starts in your house. It started the day you noticed feminism wasn’t such a bad word, the day you started working at a women’s shelter, the day you started composting. Your revolution started with the little things, sometimes with just doing nothing; because not consuming is the most useful sort of inactivity you can think of.” McCarry

“A lot can be taken away from a woman. A lot can be done to break her. Fear is a disease, and hatred and violence are the symptoms. There are those who wish to crush us, defeat us. But we must not, we will not, grant their wishes. Together, all women must rise up. We must take our stand in unity and power. Raise our voices against the darkness. Then, instead of being crushed, we will stand strong. Instead of being defeated, we will be victorious. We will conquer hate. I will never forget these facts. I will never for an instant doubt. Because through the fear, the hatred and the violence, we are indeed standing strong in our victory. We are surviving.” DiMarco

Every woman needs to discover for herself what she believes in. For some women, this means turning a blind eye to the oppression women in general face. For others, it is a call for action, for involvement, and for further education. You can’t let society dictate what you believe. It is a learning process that every woman in this book endured to come out at the end. I have read other reviews of this booking claiming that these authors are jaded, but I believe that they have just had many normal experiences that led them to where they are now. These quotes on this page are ones that I felt exemplified the sex discovery these women underwent to come out better on the other side. So you need to figure for yourself who you are. I know who I am…

Who are you?