Friday, August 27, 2010

This Is What A (Somewhat) Young Feminist Looks Like

This post is one of 37 submissions in the ‘This is What a Young Feminist Looks Like’ blog carnival. Head over to our host, Fair and Feminist, for a list of participating blogs.

The California Nurses Association is trying to unionize the hospital where I work.  Each night, they take over a conference room, set out some food, candy and union literature for the nurses. They sit there, answering nurses questions and responding to claims made by anti-union nurses and hospital administration.

I always make sure to think of a question to ask them when I get there.  I figure that it is the least I could do since they are feeding me for free almost every night.  The other night, it was crazy busy in labor and delivery.  I didn't think I would be able to make it down there because my patient was so unstable.  Other nurses returned from the conference room with a message from the CNA representatives, "Misha, they were asking about you down there.  They said they missed you and were saving some orange chicken for you!"  I got my patient straightened out and found a nurse to watch her for a few minutes.

As soon as I made my way into the room, I was greeted with a loud, "MISHA!" I signed the sign-in sheet, I introduced my co-worker to the CNA reps, I  asked my question and started to make myself a plate.  While I spooned some rice onto my plate, a member of the CNA board of directors said, "Misha, we are having a rally tomorrow in Sacramento to celebrate and honor the suffragettes.  Are you going to attend?"  I explained that as much as I would love to attend, I was working and had babies to birth, but I would be there in spirit.  It was then, that a nurse asked "What is a suffragette?"  I tried to wipe the shocked look off my face.  How could anyone not know about the anniversary of Women's Suffrage? I explained that the 90th anniversary of women getting the right to vote was this week.  I explained that the suffragettes were the women who fought bravely for that right.  She was amazed that women had not been voting since the beginning of the United States.  I wonder if this nurse is what the older feminists have in mind when they claim that there are no young feminists?

That nurse is the exception.  I'd point that older feminist to the young women who fight for abortion rights every day.  I'd tell her to take a look at women fighting for the right to breastfeed publicly.  I show her the scores of women in this country who are standing up for their right to give birth in the manner of their choosing.  I'd introduce her to my Goddaughter who, at the young age of 6, tells everyone that she is going to be a US Marine and 'A Girl President'.  I'd have her look at Chelsea Baker.  Young feminists are everywhere.  Today's feminism is has many facets.  Not every feminist is wearing a shirt that reads, 'A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle' whilst burning her bra.  Some of them are wearing baseball cleats and throwing knuckleballs.  Others are wearing nursing bras and demonstrating at a local store.  A few are nude, in an inflatable tub, giving birth to the next generation of young feminists.  Some of us are blogging, tweeting and Facebooking for equality.  We are out there, fighting the fight for women everywhere.  I am one of them.  This is what a (somewhat) young feminist looks like:

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