How to Radicalize a Moderate Woman

All week it’s felt like “Today in Pecker News”. A Supreme Court nominee talks about his virginal pecker. A sitting president’s pecker is described in a porn star’s tell-all book. A once-beloved sitcom star’s pecker finally gets jail time. Disgraced peckers are finding their way back to stages and directing gigs and political appointments. And we get to hear and read all about it. It’s exhausting and demoralizing, as if peckers think they run the world. I don’t write much about my feminist views or experiences as a woman. There are plenty… Read More

Holiday Leftovers: Humble Pie and Yard Signs

I had a great post to write, all about the goody-goodness of love and the sugary-sweetness of compassion. But I had a bad day yesterday. Humility has been my theme this week – all about the reminders that I can be an asshole on occasion. Not even that, but someone who abandons her principles because she’s too damned tired to do the right thing. It started with a bell ringer. I stopped donating to the Salvation Army years ago, when controversies arose around its hiring practices, as well as some of the… Read More

Dear Trump Apologists: No Apology Required

Dear Trump Apologists, In the wave of unrelenting Trump antics, you are leaping in chivalrous desperation, demanding apologies for the wives and daughters of the nation. Sit down and shut up. Please do not do anything on my behalf. Do not feign horror at transgendered people in my bathroom (where they’ve been for years). Do not explain my biology to me. Do not offer transvaginal probes to save my fetal cells. Do not shriek think of the mothers, daughters, sisters when trying to convince rapists not to rape. Do not act dismayed… Read More

Misogyny of the Heart

It hit me like a ton of bricks. My daughter is becoming a girl. She’s always eschewed anything stereotypically feminine for that which is “cool” and rugged and associated with being a boy. She declared at four that she was a vegetarian and at seven that she was officially a tomboy. The transition to a developing body, to the social gymnastics of preteens and all the cultural expectations that come from being female have crept up on us.I was surprised at the fear and anger and sadness that washed over me when… Read More

Is Quiet Feminism an Oxymoron?

Several posts on feminism at The Outlier Collective convinced me to finish this essay, which I started a year ago and never found the footing for – it’s a tough subject and one that I haven’t fully resolved for myself. I stay current with feminist issues and have, for much of my adult life, believed that I’m a feminist. I am a white, middle-aged, middle class mid-western woman with a four year college degree. I am a veteran of the US Army. I am the parent of a daughter. I come from… Read More

The Women in My Tribe

I had an experience today that I haven’t had in a long time. I met someone I want to induct into my tribe. My tribe of women is not formal – most of the time the members have no idea that they belong. There’s a longtime playwright friend and mentor – generous, encouraging and talented. There’s a woman I’ve worked for over the last decade – thoughtful, grounded, physically fit and funny. There’s a “mom” friend, starting her own cottage industry, with common sense and a great sense of humor. There is… Read More

Gender Benders

Yesterday, my daughter told me about her recent school picture session. The photographer asked her name and she told him. His assistant came over and asked her what her name was again. He whispered loudly in the photographer’s ear, “He says that IS his name”. My daughter’s name is decidedly a typical girl’s name – even in most foreign languages. They were not to be dissuaded from a quickly drawn, preconceived opinion, despite evidence to the contrary. My daughter insists on a Harry Potter haircut and refuses to wear girl’s clothes. She… Read More

One of Those Women…the Human Kind

I’ve been doing the work that any novice blogger needs to do to develop a readership – reading other people’s blogs and commenting on those that interest or inspire me. I love good writing on any subject, but have been reading a lot of posts about women’s issues. Unfortunately, I keep running into blogs by both genders on exactly what’s wrong with women. I know this is a horse I will continue to beat (sorry, horse), but this notion that we are chronically a problem to solve makes me irritable. I don’t… Read More

Being Just Right

I’ve been putting off writing about an issue that I’ve internalized over the course of a lifetime. I have no magic resolution, no pat answers. It can bring me to tears when I think of the misery and harm I’ve directed towards myself over the years. I didn’t deserve it. No one does. Much has been written about American women and body image. I am an average American woman. And eventually my daughter will be one, too. There are wonderful books and websites out there about how to help daughters develop decent… Read More