Thanks, Mom


For keeping your last name and acting like it was no big deal, even though it was.

For marrying a feminist man who supported your career ambitions and helped you raise two feminist daughters.

For raising me with feminism in the water so that when I encountered the word and the idea, feminism seemed so unremarkable and obvious to me that I was astonished to find that there even was a word or an idea.

For not shuddering in dismay (at least, not visibly), at my childhood obsession with princesses, fairies and chasing boys.

For not shuddering in dismay (at least, not visibly), at my other childhood attraction – to really dangerous sports.

For doing your best to raise me to love my body.

For teaching me that my body is my own and I can do what I want with it. Even though, for some reason, getting a tattoo, even a small, barely noticeable one, is a magical exception to this rule. God, Mom, you’re so uptight, I just don’t get why – oh wait, where was I?

For insisting that I go to an all-girls high school, where I would have the freedom to be outspoken and unapologetically intellectual.

For not getting frustrated that even though I went to an all-girls school, where I took full advantage of the freedom to be outspoken and unapologetically intellectual, I remained – and remain to this day – totally boy-crazy.

For being a living example of the power of mentoring and networking among women.

For reminding me to temper my feminist idealism with realism, as much as I hate to have to do that.

For teaching me the names of the American States using “California Girls.”

For all this and for a hundred other things I haven’t mentioned, thanks, Mom. You’re a total bad-ass and I love you. Happy Mother’s Day.

New York, NY

Chloe Angyal is a journalist and scholar of popular culture from Sydney, Australia. She joined the Feministing team in 2009. Her writing about politics and popular culture has been published in The Atlantic, The Guardian, New York magazine, Reuters, The LA Times and many other outlets in the US, Australia, UK, and France. She makes regular appearances on radio and television in the US and Australia. She has an AB in Sociology from Princeton University and a PhD in Arts and Media from the University of New South Wales. Her academic work focuses on Hollywood romantic comedies; her doctoral thesis was about how the genre depicts gender, sex, and power, and grew out of a series she wrote for Feministing, the Feministing Rom Com Review. Chloe is a Senior Facilitator at The OpEd Project and a Senior Advisor to The Harry Potter Alliance. You can read more of her writing at chloesangyal.com

Chloe Angyal is a journalist and scholar of popular culture from Sydney, Australia.

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  • http://cabaretic.blogspot.com nazza

    My mother is my guardian angel. She kept me alive in my worst periods of sickness. Her touch was always gentle and healing when I was discouraged and in pain. Though there were times that we fought, we’ve always been close. Later in life I’ve come to understand how lucky I am to have her.