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Monday, July 24, 2017

Morning Reflections: Feminism and Me

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....


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