This Is What A Feminist Looks Like: Rita

Name: Rita
Age: 62
Occupation: Clinical Social Work

How do you define feminism?
Expecting and receiving respect as equals to every other human being, male or otherwise.    Equal pay for Equal work. Having the right to pursue any level of education or career, the requirements being the same for any applicant. Maintaining the right to have private all-women clubs as well as respecting the right of men to have all-men clubs realizing that equality doesn’t mean sameness. Feminism doesn’t mean acting like a man.

When did you first identify as a feminist?   
As a teenager during the 1960’s: 1) living in a double-standard home that denied me the right to go to college but approved of boys getting an education and 2) as not being allowed to wear pants to school or to work on very cold days.

Has your (definition of) feminism changed over time?  How?   
After the Roe vs. Wade fiasco in 1973, more extremists seemed to emerge, take hold and gain power and control within the feminist movement.

Have you ever experienced resistance to identifying as a feminist?  If so, why do you think that is and how do you handle it?   
As a moderate, yes I have experienced some resistance both from men and from women.   I believe these may be two of the reasons:  1) many men have issues with not being in total control of women and 2) many feminists, while respecting women’s’ rights to make their own decisions, do not seem to recognize the rights of the tiniest women who haven’t quite made it out of the womb yet.   I do not appreciate the show of dismay or aloofness towards me because I do not subscribe to the philosophy that the unborn’s right to live is arbitrary and at the discretion of his or her mother’s choice.    I handle it by reminding others that I do not force them to accept my beliefs.

What do you see as the future of feminism?  
I see it in trouble because of the extremism among some feminists just like the extremism in religious groups tends to cause polarization and/or other harmful consequences.

Rita is a free thinker and makes up her own mind about things after she has had an opportunity to gather enough information and make an informed opinion according to her conscience. She is passionate about respecting our veterans and military who risk everything they have to provide us with the freedom we have in this country. She abhors the act of judging another human being or of being judged by another human being because she strongly believes we are all created equal. However, she thinks it is healthy to be honest about one’s beliefs and that it is basic human nature to not agree on everything.  Like the flowers of every color, and the shape of every unique snowflake, people are made to compliment one another and make the world a beautiful and diverse place.

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