Feminism is for everyone! I wrote that in the back of my book where I briefly discuss the basics of intersectional feminism. But the point was driven home to me in a different way during my book launch event at the beautiful Waterdog Tavern here in my home town of Belmont.
I've been trying to write this blog post for almost two weeks following the book launch and I've really struggled. I've got other posts running around in my head (tennis anyone?) but this one has been a challenge. I want to thank everyone who attended and showed their support for both me and my book, F is For Feminist. After that it feels like I'm tooting my own horn and I'm not great at that.
But I will say this. There may never have been a time in this country's history that feminism and all that comes with that one word has been more important than it is at this moment. And the sooner our children learn about it, the better. We really need to counteract the negative messages of the day.
Case in point, just this past week our children received dangerous messages about the value placed on women in our society. An (alleged) attempted rape happened many years ago, when a grown man was just a teenager. The overwhelming response/message has been that boys will be boys and he is a nice grown up man now so it really doesn't matter. Guilty or not, what message is that sending to our teenage girls? And what about our teenage boys? Insert a pause here to really think about that for a moment.
I think one of the most powerful messages in my book is the "O" page. O stands for "Our Bodies" and relays the simple message that "We are the boss of our bodies." Not only is that message important for our children (and teenagers) to receive, but I also know some grown ups who could stand to hear the reminder.
(Due to social media size specifications, this image layout was altered slightly from the book - it is even better in the book)
There were more than a few teachers at the book launch (and one principal!) and nearly every one of them commented on the "Q" page. Q stands for "Quiet? Girls don't have to be quiet. Use your voice!!" The Q photo in the book shows a group of children in a school setting with the girls raising their hands high and proud. I've read over and over that girls stop speaking up in classrooms by first grade. It is a real concern and one that only gets worse as girls get older. This is where the "Lean In" issue begins!
I tried my best to include messages in the book that make a difference, messages that matter. Though it is an alphabet format, this isn't a simple alphabet book. As the subtitle states, it truly is "An A to Z Guide for Feminists of All Ages." In fact, one of my favorite quotes came from a teenage boy, a sophomore in high school. After he read the book he was asked what he learned from it. His reply was thoughtful, simple and honest. He said, "I learned that everyone should be a feminist."
Yes! Thank you. Feminism is for everyone!!
Well, I guess it turns out that it wasn't that hard for me to blow my own horn after all;) Thank you for indulging me - if you've read this far! I am so fortunate to live in a wonderful, supportive community and I am very grateful for my village! Please enjoy a few photos from the launch party. It was a lot of fun! If you were there, I hope you enjoyed it and if you weren't, I hope to see you at another event soon.
Photo creds to Jeff Bartee, Julie Tang, Ashley Sullivan, and Riley Collins