Name: Sarah Werthan Buttenwieser
Location: Northampton MA
Any other relevant tidbits you’d care to share: also, community do-er & mama to four
How do you define feminism?
I define feminism as a belief that unless women deserve equality–a truth & an issue of social justice
When did you first identify as a feminist?
I am not sure I ever *didn’t* identify as a feminist. But the experience that cemented me to feminism was definitely becoming unintentionally pregnant at 17 & realizing that without reproductive freedom my ability to make decisions about how my life could go wouldn’t exist. Equal access to free choice about my life became so dear. I just GOT it. I needed to fight for this equality.
Has your (definition of) feminism changed over time? How?
I think I’ve mellowed & feel “bigger tent” about feminism than at the height of my activist years. I spent my twenties working in the reproductive rights movement. I thought you had to give it all — or nothing. I don’t see it that way at all these days. I see there are all kinds of ways feminism can be a powerful part of our lives even if it’s not the central lens for every person.
Have you ever experienced resistance to identifying as a feminist? If so, why do you think that is and how do you handle it?
I never, ever have. It’s almost like I love it too much to ever feel scared to identify as a feminist internally. I might not share with someone very conservative *all* that I’ve fought for in my activist life straight away, though.
What do you see as the future of feminism?
I hope the future of feminism is to bring words like equality & justice to the fore again & again until we secure those very things.
Besides keeping a blog at the Valley Advocate, Sarah writes (& blogs) hither & yon, from Preview Massachusetts Magazine to Brain Child & points in between. To keep up on where she’s writing, you can follow her blog’s Facebook page. Sarah notes: I am on twitter (poorly) @standshadows (Avi disagrees & thinks Sarah is more than fun to tweet with!)
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