How do you define feminism?
It’s supporting women and women’s issues. Too many people believe feminism is about promoting women while putting men down, but that’s not the case. They are shocked to learn men can be feminists too. Feminism is about sending the message women are people. We are capable of doing everythng men can do (except maybe pee standing up!). We are so much more than incubators and maids. We raise children and run countries. It’s about not blaming rape victims, allowing women real choices when it comes to birth control, equal pay for equal work and recognition of the huge contributions we make in the world every day.
When did you first identify as a feminist?
I can’t remember a time I didn’t identify as a feminist. I grew up in a household where I was told I could do anything or be anything. If I wanted to be President, I could do it. It wasn’t until I started school that I realized this wasn’t the way everyone thought. I was shocked. I never backed down from my goals and my parents always stood behind me.
Has your (definition of) feminism changed over time? How?
I don’t think my definition has changed. I feel the issues have changed. They’ve gotten more complex. (Maybe it’s me that’s more complex). Everything seemed so cut and dry when I was younger, now I see there’s not always one simple answer. For instance – supporting women politicians like Sarah Palin. Years ago my instinct would be to support her because she’s a woman, but the truth is Palin doesn’t support other women or women’s issues. There’s nothing more frustrating then women who don’t recognize and honor the fact they are where they are today because of feminists in the past.
Have you ever experienced resistance to identifying as a feminist? If so, why do you think that is and how do you handle it?
Yes! On Twitter! Someone said I shouldn’t talk about birth control and abortion rights, specifically conception, because I was a feminist. She automatically thought feminist meant lesbian. After I stopped laughing I explained that while some feminists are lesbians, I was not. I wear my “Ms.”, “This Is What a Feminist Looks Like” and “I Had An Abortion” t-shirts a lot. They generate conversations and provide me an opportunity to share my story.
What do you see as the future of feminism?
Unfortunately I see another backlash against feminism in the immediate future. I hope this will inspire fellow feminists to speak up and get involved. We cannot succeed unless we work together. I see promise in the next generation, but it’s up to women (including me) to help lead the way.
More on Krista:
I was 15-years-old when I got pregnant. Dr. George Tiller performed my abortion. Keeping abortion safe and legal is an issue I fiercely support. If women cannot control their bodies and their reproductive health, they cannot control their lives.
I am married to an amazing, supportive man. We have two dogs who fill our lives with joy.
You can also find Krista on Twitter.
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