I am not sure, where or when my “feminism” began, but I am sure it was not an outside influence
that inspired me.
As far back as I was conscious of reason, I had a very strong sense of independence and justice
which, got me into trouble at a very young age and throughout my school years, particularly in
boarding school, where such matters were strongly opposed. It failed to change me. Stop me. I
failed to bend me, conform me.
Throughout the years I was first granted the honorary title of “defender of the poor” and later on,
was “accused” of being a feminist for exactly the same reason. But it was not before decades past
that I had come to terms with the role. In my own way.
I simply dreaded the term and, I hated the feminists of the day. I found mostly them combative,
rude, careless... Sill, I found myself (with my brother, he though she was cute) at an University
talk of a foreign one (the one I most disliked). Just had to hear what she had to say. (well, I
learned a lot about her, nothing that the I liked or wanted to emulate).
The event was disgraceful for all her (unfortunately tolerated) bad behavior in general. She did
not dispel the loathe increasing in my belly. My perverse curiosity for what is contrary to myself
has always propelled me towards understanding what exactly I did not like about the idea or the
I continued being myself, “doing my thing”, independently and mindfully, way before
mindfulness became a virtue... (My goodness, such an elevation of simple manners!).
However, I have always been strictly concerned with “human rights”. Everyone’s rights. Male, female, adult, child.
Old, young, middle aged. Living/alive, was good enough for me.
The couple of decades of resenting “bullying” feminists faded away quietly as most of them
did... Some, are still around. One, I admired somewhere “in between”. Still, my favorite people.
In the meantime, I arrived back at one of my youth’s passions of painting, and because of it, have
been consistently invited to share works for the celebration of International Woman’s Day
during these past twelve years. A number of subjects on the topic came to the fore and I
addressed them as observed, as a woman. How else could I?
Here I am again, in the role of the (unwilling) feminist. But this time is different.
I am totally focused on the rights of group of people: women, which actually, make me by
default or, perhaps even willingly, a feminist.
I began to embrace the thought. The concept of having been one all of my life, and understanding
(as in lightbulb going on) that in fact I have been/was a feminist.
I actually embodied feminism, before I had any inkling of it, let alone have knowledge nor conscience of it.
I was a full fledged feminist. I have plowed through life according to the
circumstances. It was never a concern of mine if it was considered a “male or a “female” job;
while knowing we are intrinsically different, apart and aside from being human beings.
Therefore, I was many “first” in a series of positions/jobs, volunteer and salaried that were met
with some surprise, amusement (at the beginning) and also resistance with scorn. Occasionally,
also malice. To think of it, I was most likely the first female “consultant” in our area,
when “consultancy” was still in the womb.
In some cases, there weren’t facilities available for females. As was the case when applied at the
zoo to become a zoo keeper. At the time I felt I rather shovel animal shit, than take any human
one! It was not to be. I understood by the tone of our interaction this was not personal, just a fact.
And determined as I though I was, I did not follow through; What I missed, was the opportunity
to state or do something that would have opened the doors sooner....
However, the zoo director fully supported me later, while I was collecting signatures for a
petition to change the law, by increasing the penalty for the killing of wild animals in captivity,
after a couple of tragic incidents in our area. The law was changed that Fall and was actual until
recently, when it was greatly objected to by female hunters, shooting wild animals in captive at
a farm for killing purposes... I believe they succeeded. Glad not live there anymore. Sorry I
was not around to oppose them myself. One must effectively conclude, that I do not believe in
supporting all women in everything because we share a gender.
Despite all the intricacies life threw in my path, I just continued doing “my thing” and lived
happy and proud of myself. Despite family opposition in some cases (if, not most!). Mostly, I
accomplished what I desired. Other times, I gave up my determination for my sanity. Of course,
as much as I love certain trades, like carpentry (inherited from grandfather), I had no desire to
have any trade jobs traditionally held by males. (not really, they are a number of jobs though, none that include the
use of muscles)
Except, and, a big “except”, for painting. Yet, it never occurred to me personally that, this was a
male dominated profession (mainly, by male peacocks!)... A “tradition” of ignoring great art
executed by women, as well as the women themselves.
A few years back I decided to revisit my “investigation” on the topic and learned that there are
many types of feminism. So, I quietly, privately, added my brand to it.
“Just do it”. Not to plagiarize a slogan... The way each one of us lives is, (should be) a
building block, a “tribute to the cause”.
No virtue in being a feminist if, all aspects of our daily lives are not permeated with humanity,
decency, compassion, justice, respect, understanding and love for others; which, are not
exclusively feminine attributes. We are all in it together. As in: All of humanity is in it together.
Shuffling, solving the Rubik's cube of life....
"Thorn" Giclée - 16" x 20" ©