My kind of woman

13 Oct

I’ve been thinking a lot about feminism lately, for various non-Japan-related reasons. I’ve been considering who I consider “feminist icons,” not as champions of feminism but people who live their lives the way feminists wish we all could. What makes a good feminist role model?

Here is my personal list:

My feminist icon is someone who wants to have an impact on the world. Be it through politics, art, charity, teaching, sports, whatever. She is a force for positive change.

She has accepted who she is. She knows her own flaws and strengths, and she uses them all to her advantage.

She is someone who values equality and real freedom. Her values are strong and she stands by them even in her most difficult moments.

She takes action. She doesn’t just wish or dream or lament about the change she wants to make or the life she wants to live. She acts to help others, and she acts to help herself. The latter is an important point: she is not self-denying or self-effacing; her own happiness is as important to her as everyone else’s. She pursues what makes her happy. But she is not impatient. And she need not necessarily be aggressive. Maybe she takes action slowly, steadily, over years. That’s powerful, too.

And my feminist role model is nothing if not powerful.

So who is she?

She’s Eleanor Roosevelt. She’s Laura Roslin. She’s Frida Kahlo. She’s my friend Alison McCrary, and the amazing Cecilia Barja, my former boss of whom I wish I had a better video than this, because her speaking presence is tremendous.

These are the women I will model myself after. Who are your feminist icons?

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