This Is What A Feminist Looks Like: Mary

Name: Mary Starr
Age: 47
Occupation:  Homemaker/Volunteer
Location: Kansas City, MO
Any other relevant tidbits you’d care to share:  When reading to my kids, I frequently switch the male-in-power gender roles to female.  Why does the doctor or the mayor always have to be a man?


How do you define feminism? 
“Equalism.”  My definition doesn’t involve man-bashing, simply working toward equal pay and respect for women.

When did you first identify as a feminist?  
When I was a kid in the ’70s, my dad (somewhat) jokingly rang a bell for my mom to fetch his coffee.  I so wanted to tell him to get his own damned coffee!

Has your (definition of) feminism changed over time? How?  
I used to think being a homemaker and a feminist were mutually exclusive.  Now I believe one can still work toward equal treatment no matter one’s work status.

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 experienced resistance from my brother and a former co-worker.  Some men seem threatened by the ‘f-word’ itself.  I explained that feminists don’t want preferential treatment, merely equal treatment.

When I ended up having two sons, my brother commented that maybe (now) I would be able to understand men better.  Apparently he thought I was confused!

What do you see as the future of feminism?
It would be wonderful if the need for feminism were to become obsolete.  But considering that we still haven’t elected a woman president in the U.S., we have work to do.

Mary enjoys taking Tae Kwon Do with her older son & acting silly with her younger son and her fiance, Mike.  She majored in Political Science and a favorite job was working for Children International, a child sponsorship organization.  She now considers with mild amusement the fact that her father thinks males are inherently more intelligent than females.

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