Feminism’s little wows!

Check out out the lil’ feline wow that jumps into my lap about 2/3rd through the commentary. Here’s the column I refer to.

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  • Boodle

    Yay, Courtney! You’re always saying such good stuff–I appreciate you and your work. Here’s something, though. Perhaps as Naomi Wolf writes, Feminism did “teach us to be angry,” but I disagree. I think feminism taught me it was okay to be angry, and justified to be angry, and completely relevant to be angry at an unequal and sexist world. It’s not as if women were blissfully happy, then feminism came along and we were suddenly furious. No.
    My little wows come every day when my students have moments of recognition and anger and happiness. Also, when I help someone in the service work that I do, that’s what makes me happy. Thanks for this post, too, a good way to start the day!

  • Anonymous

    This: “Perhaps as Naomi Wolf writes, Feminism did “teach us to be angry,” but I disagree. I think feminism taught me it was okay to be angry, and justified to be angry”.
    At this point in my life I’m going through a bad patch and it’s hard to remember any wows at all. However, that video did me some good just now. It added to my gratitude list.
    I credit feminism with my allowing myself to travel alone in Canada, the U.K., Europe and Guatemala. My travels have been very fulfilling to me and if I didn’t reject the notion that I need a man around, or that a woman alone is just “weird”, I would have missed out on some fabulous camping and driving experiences. Venturing out whenever I wanted, wherever I felt like, has helped me develop my photography. It’s become a passion of mine.
    Another wow, to me, is that I have little concern for fashion or my appearance in general. This saves me thousands of dollars a year, which I can then spend on other things, like travel, or just savings for bad times. Of course, some people might argue I’ve lost thousands in income from not being a fashion plate (potentially), but that would be non-verifiable. The money I saved is right there.

  • Comrade Kevin

    What you wrote in your column is highly pertinent, but I find true satisfaction exists with jobs and solutions that are not institutionalized.
    A previous poster noted that it Feminism taught us to be angry, and I think that anger is a good first step, particularly if your eyes have been closed until that point. But I also believe that sustained anger that rages to no good end is counter-productive. Jesus said, “In your anger, do not sin”, and I think this is especially pertinent to the discussion, regardless of how you might perceive of sin.

  • Comrade Kevin

    And as for a little wow, mine comes from the knowledge that I have a lot of applied knowledge at my disposal that I did not have before—that I can put into place when it comes time for me to lobby for a greater incorporation of the voices of women into any organizational structure.
    This doesn’t mean I’m always successful, but it does mean that I can build allies and know how to use language that will go a long way to making people “not like me” feel comfortable that they can trust what I say and furthermore trust my intentions.

  • Ms. Junior

    One of my “little wows” that is actually a pretty big wow, is that since he started dating me, my boyfriend has begun calling himself a feminist. He always was a feminist, but he never really thought of himself as one until he met me and I told him, “You’re totally a feminist!” And while we don’t always agree on everything (because who does?) we are able to have thoughtful discussions.
    Elaborating on that, I think feminism is largely responsible for my understanding of healthy relationships. Having been in abusive relationships before, I was able to recognize the abuse, and then learn about how relationships are supposed to be through feminist resources like Scarleteen.com and Planned Parenthood. Because of this knowledge, I am now in a very healthy relationship (with the above mentioned boyfriend) and am able to talk with my friends and family and give them information about healthy relationships.

  • bumblebecky

    Awesome message lady. My little wow is being called a subject, not an object. =D
    On a side note: Bahahaha. Your cat inturupted you.

  • Rachel

    Courtney, I’m a huge fan of yours, and I recognize how your little wow is a leap from past years. I don’t want to take away from that, but I think it deserves to be qualified. I’ve read lately some criticism of feministing by blogs addressing issues of race, saying that feministing fails to recognize race, social class, and gender as three things that are always present together (read: fail on race and social class). I think this is a good example of an opportunity that you have to employ that mindset, and I don’t that this little wow example is a good one.
    First, I recognize that your activism comes from your individual experience, and obviously, you’ve been very successful, and shouldn’t feel guilty about that. But you are taking on the position of a public figure, and I don’t think it’s too much to ask to ask that you try to choose your own example a little bit more critically. I am probably from the same demographic as you, though I’m a few years younger and a lot less successful (so far!), and I understand and want to respect that you do what you can, and this is a volunteer gig for you. But I’ve read this blog long enough to see you take a regular beatdown for not being particularly sensitive to these issues.
    I think your example of feeling entitled to fight for salary comes as much if not more so from being white and well educated, and of the social class to have the untaught manners and language to promote yourself.
    I think taking this trio into consideration is a fundamental part of feminism. If we can’t take all three dimensions of us as people into account as a whole, who are we empowering with this fight?

  • Courtney O

    Reading the posts above I realized that I have a lot of little wows…so here’s the short list. When I found feminism I found…the inspiration to take risks in my life and become a female rock climber, the courage to seek healthy,compassionate, fulfilling relationships full of hot, emotional, passionate sex; the support to come out as bi-sexual, the confidence to critically examine and contextualize my life experiences within this society, and the ability to articulate my stance in a way that invites people into dialogue rather than exclude them. When I found feminism I also discovered that I had the capacity to reach out to other women whether it was through friendship, community organizing, or global activism, the women I have encountered in all these arenas are my extended family and have truly changed my life. Thank you for this post Courtney…it’s 5 am here in AZ and I could not think of a better way to start my day.

  • Nasheen

    My little wows come in moments with friends, especially male friends, on my university campus when I am able to use the language and the framework I have learned through feminism to truly open their eyes to sexism and racism as they exist in our world today. When I am able to truly change someone’s mind or at least make them question the underlying and institutionalized discrimination in their day to day life, I feel that I’m contributing to a huge wow.