The F Word {No, not that one. That one.}

I myself have never been able to find out precisely what feminism is. I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat. 
—Rebecca West

Yesterday during school we were reading a passage that used the word feminist and my nine-year-old daughter asked me what it meant.

I find with most things in life, the simplest explanation is usually the best. I told her that feminism is the belief that women deserve to be viewed as fully human and not seen as inferior to men in any capacity (socially, politically, economically, or personally).

She was confused. Not that she didn’t understand the words I said, but legit perplexed that people don’t already accept this as fact and there needs to be a word for it.

Agent J, channeling her inner Hulk

Of course, she understands history. We’ve talked about what things were (are) like in this country and around the world, specifically regarding the rights of women and girls, both in the past and present. She’s mature enough that we can have a serious conversation about inequities. It’s not that she doesn’t get that the world treats some people better than others for reasons that aren’t reasons; she does.

But still, her gut reaction was how is this not just recognized as normal?

For now, I’m sparing her most of the unfair and misrepresented rhetoric that often comes with the term. But I realize that a full appreciation for why we still need feminism is an issue we’re going to have to tackle sooner rather than later.

What she needs to know in this moment, however, is that her humanity, her life is just as important and valued as any other person on this earth. That all people deserve equal rights. That everyone—regardless of what gender they identify as—is worthy of dignity and respect. And we need to continue to strive to treat all humans decently and fairly because it’s the right thing to do.

That, my dear, sweet child, is what feminism is.

12 Words {Again}

A few years ago, I asked the Senior Agents to come up with 12 words that describe them. (The original post can be found here.) I thought it would be interesting to have them try again. Like before, the chosen terms are listed in alphabetical order.

Riding the Teacups at Disneyland

Here’s Agent J’s current list:

ambivert
bold
brave
caring
clever
fabulous
friendly
hardworking
honest
imaginative
quirky
silly

The only words that overlap from her earlier list are clever and imaginative.

With their free books from the Barnes and Noble
summer reading program
 
And Agent E’s current list:

amazing
animal-lover
creative
happy
helpful
honest
introvert
kind 
loving
musical
smart
writer

Here we see a repeat of creative, helpful, smart, and writer

In the Pittsburgh airport ready to board our flight to San Diego
 
The only word they have in common is honest.

I find it interesting what words dropped off the lists as well. Both Agents lost words describing appearance (beautiful, gorgeous, pretty) as well as descriptors such as nice, quiet, shy, and sweet.

You can do your own amateur psychoanalysis on what happened in the intervening three-and-a-half years. I’m simply recording this here knowing it’s something they’ll enjoy looking back on in another three years.

Scrunchy hugs at Disneyland

What would make your list?