Name: Cathy Morton
Occupation: Non Profit Manager
Location: Charleston, SC
Any other relevant tidbits you’d care to share: Blogger and Aspiring Writer
How do you define feminism?
Feminism is women standing together to raise awareness and work for social, economic,political, and personal equality for women.
When did you first identify as a feminist?
I don’t believe I know the word but I understood the concept in my early 20’s. Someone once asked me if I was a feminist. I told them I believed that everyone should be treated fairly and equally. The person had a rather disgusted look and said thinking like that made me a humanist. He made it sound like that was a bad thing, but in my heart I knew I was right.
Has your (definition of) feminism changed over time? How?
Yes it has. I grew up in the South raised by older grandparents. I was raised with the idea that women were “less than”. I was sent to college so I could find a husband and find a job I could fall back on in case my husband died or left me. I had to chose between being a teacher or nurse.
I was also raised with a rather conservative religious background. I was taught that women were second class citizens in God’s eyes. I was part of a women’s study group and the book we worked from was, “You can be the Wife of Happy Husband.” It is a very dangerous book in my opinion. I knew something was wrong with the thinking.
My husband and I attended a Southern Baptist seminary the year the convention decided to no longer allow the ordination of women. I saw women who felt so betrayed and angry. I read a book called “From Housewife to Heretic” by Sonia Johnson. It is the true story of Sonia Johnson who was kicked out of her church for asking to be given fair and equal treatment, which would redefine the way the church prescribes roles for women. Today I am a member of a church denomination that allows and encourages women in the pastorate as well as other leadership roles.
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 was told I was going against God’s will by being a feminist. I have been in discussions with people who believe women are destroying our economy and taking jobs from men who need them to support families. I have been told that women should not be in the military. I have found that hearing someone out and letting them share their ideas is important. I don’t argue with them, I just state my beliefs. I do try to have some facts to counter their claims but often it doesn’t matter. I won’t change their minds by being antagonistic. It is hard to present logic to someone with an illogical argument.
What do you see as the future of feminism?
I hope everyone will see and understand that we are all human being on this journey we call life. I hope we can make an impact on the lives of women around the world. There are so many atrocities against women–sex trafficking, killing baby girls in some cultures, mutilation of women’s bodies, and more. I hope we can see the value and power we have when we stand together with our fellow women. I believe we have a long way to go.
Cathy is a Mother and Grandmother; Alcoholic/Addict in long term recovery; Non Profit Manager and Trainer; Writer; Blogger; Loves reading and music; Writing a non fiction book and a new fiction story. She hopes to have both completed for editing by the end of 2012. She is a 60 year old grandmother who has red hair and crazy colors of fingernail polish. Cathy is taking Karate and started sharing her blog and writing publicly this year. She has a life story that would be a combination of a Lifetime Miniseries and a Jerry Springer show. Cathy wouldn’t been where she is today without some amazing women who have helped her along the way. She has a friend who has described her group of friends as “warrior women.” They are women who will stand up for each other and other women. They will walk with each other through trials and tribulation, as well as joys and accomplishments. Cathy is proud to call herself one of these “warrior women.” You can find Cathy at her website and on Facebook and Twitter.