This Is What A Feminist Looks Like: Betsy

Name: Betsy
Age: 39
Occupation: Middle School Teacher
Location: Wisconsin

Betsy

How do you define feminism?
Meaningful feminism is an itch that I cannot seem to scratch. I want feminism to mean that I can be seen and valued for who I am. Not what I look like. Not what I wear. Not what my house looks like. What kind of car I drive. Not who I married. Just me. I want to be treated like an equal, but also appreciated for my differences that make me the person that I am. Is it important that I am a woman? Yes, but it is only one piece of who I am as a whole person.

When did you first identify as a feminist?
I don’t know if I do, but I am trying.

Has your (definition of) feminism changed over time? How?
At first I thought it was only political, and I didn’t understand, so I didn’t want any part of it. Now I see that it is so much more than that.

Have you ever experienced resistance to identifying as a feminist? If so, why do you think that is and how do you handle it?
The resistance I get is from my church. Feminism is the opposite of submission. I suppose that is why I do not go to church these days.

What do you see as the future of feminism?
I hope that it means we grow more and more in appreciation for who we are as women, and those appreciations are reflected in the values of society. Not just politically with regard to things like, for example, equal pay, but society-wide.

Betsy has been a teacher for the past 15 years and is working online toward a Master’s in Reading, while still trying to figure out how to maintain her life as a wife of 12 years and a mother of a 5 and 7-year-old. She grew up in Wisconsin, traveled awhile, and has settled back there to raise her family near her relatives.

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