Monday, May 17, 2010

Running - The Great Equalizer?

Sunday, I ran my first half marathon. 

I'm pretty excited that I completed it, especially since I just started running in 2008.  I love running because the only person I am competing with is myself.   I also love running because I think it is a great equalizer - at my level. 

Sure, there are the Elite runners where you have men running faster than women.  But I'm not going to blog about that today. No, I'm talking about the rest of us. Those of us who run with the goal of finishing or getting a better personal time, but not winning.  In other words, the non-elite runners.  Once you get beyond elite, this is where all runners are equal.  How? Well, on Sunday, I was running with groups of both women and men.  I passed both women and men. I also had both women and men pass me.  Also, the supporters that came out to cheer the runners were both women and men.  There did not seem to be one gender more represented than another. Sure, someone may prove me wrong, but I'm going off of what I saw and since this is my blog, that's what counts. :)

Since I tend to point out the areas where inequalities stand, I thought I would blog about something where women and men seemed to be truly equal! Or it could be that I haven't come down off my runner's high yet. :)

My friends and I show off our medals!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Did you know Motherhood is a Feminist Issue?

Happy Mother's Day to everyone, especially my own mom. I have a pretty awesome mom.  I don't know if my mom would ever call herself a feminist, but she definitely raised one.  One of things I am most grateful for is that she allowed me to develop and grow as a feminist and independent woman.  She never patronized me or discounted my activism.  In fact, when I went into politics, she encouraged it because it meant that she got to travel to new places to visit me whenever I was on a campaign.

Under my mom's freedom, I grew as a feminist. Feminism became part of everything I am and believe, even when it came to relationships...or so I thought. Being a feminist, I believe that a woman should be equal in her marriage/relationship. That she does not need to be the one to stay home with the kids, clean the house or cook the meals.  These are all roles that can be shared equally and a man can do as well.  In fact I know several men who excel in this role.  As a feminist, I also believe that a woman has reproductive rights and has the right to choose if she brings life into this world or not. But, that is where I stopped in seeing the need for activism for women in families. Was I ever wrong.

Enter, The Feminist Breeder.  I found The Feminist Breeder podcast when I was looking for more information about Feminism and Relationships.  I started listening to the podcast and realized that as a feminist, there is a whole new world out there that needs activism.  I never thought that when it came time to have children, I would have to fight just to make sure I could have my baby the way I wanted to.  If I wanted home birth, or a midwife or any other choice, I may not necessarily be able to make the choice I wanted based on what was provided by the hospital, doctor or even my insurance.  There is so much I have learned just from listening to her show and reading her blog.  One of the big things I have learned is to be prepared and do my own research when that big day comes.

While I'm not a mom yet, I am glad I stumbled upon The Feminist Breeder now. It has given me a whole new perspective on motherhood.  So, whether you are a mom, a mom-to-be or a childless feminist like myself, I encourage you to check it out. It will open a whole new area where we need to continue the fight for equality for all women.

Fight On!