Last night Charles Alexander sent me an email (a tag); he was tagged by Elizabeth Treadwell < http://secretmint.blogspot.com <http://secretmint.blogspot.com/> > (who had earlier been “tagged” by Jessica Smith < http://looktouch.blogspot.com <http://looktouch.blogspot.com/> >) to write 5 things I had learned or gained from feminism.

I’d never been tagged since I was a child playing tag. And I didn’t have a blog, but I’d thought about setting one up for announcements and such. So today I have a blog and below are the two paragraphs I wrote in response to this question.

You can also check out Charles’ response at chaxblog < http://chax.org/blogspot.com <http://chax.org/blogspot.com>

About Feminism —

My grandmother came over on a boat, alone, from Switzerland when she was sixteen years old. I don’t know if feminism gave her this courage or if it was pure guts. My other grandmother had nine children and so so many grandchildren; she rented out rooms and ran the house after her husband died. They were my first feminist models, then the Victorian women writers, then my teachers in the university who would perhaps never have had their jobs without the feminist movement, The Detroit Cass Corridor feminist take-back-the-night girls, Rigaberto Menchu et al, the French feminist writers who aimed to write off key, angling away from phallocentric logic into the feminine, figures and slippage.

If it wasn’t for the feminist movement, perhaps I would not have quit wearing lipstick, started wearing lipstick again, perhaps I would not have given birth to my children at home, perhaps I would not have persisted on continuing my education, perhaps I would not have been hired in the university, perhaps I would not have been able to talk to all the young men and women in my classes about the rights of women and men, perhaps I would not have met my husband or decided to separate from him, perhaps I would not have traveled to Asia, perhaps when I was in the airport in Bangalore and the man asked me, “Where is your husband, your son? Who is taking care of you?” Perhaps I would not have been there and I would not have been able to say—”I am alone, but I am free.”