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Guest Blog | Seeking Self – Am I a Feminist

January 7, 2012

Guest Blogger-1

clip_image004Today, we have Kathy Austin of Seeking Self (seek her on twitter @SeekingSelfBlog & Facebook).  I met Kathy when she participated in the October Photography Challenge.  Kathy Austin founded SeekingSelf.com as a way to explore all her varied interests and goals. She is an aspiring creative mind, wife, and mom to a 14-month-old daughter.


Earlier this year I came across this photo on Pinterest. This little girl just exudes so much joy that I couldn’t help but check out the source, clip_image002PigtailPals.com. The blog’s author, Melissa Wardy, shared this photo and the story of how her daughter woke up “full of awesome” and how each of us should pursue being “full of awesome.” I became an instant fan. The tagline of the site is “Redefining Girly” and I can honestly say that it has redefined how my husband, my family, and I think regarding our own little Girly.

Now you may be asking yourself why, as a guest blogger on Our Wired Lives, would I choose to discuss another blog? Well, it’s very simple. This is probably the single most impactful source of information I have found this year, not only for parenting but also for myself. Before finding Pigtail Pals, like many women (and men), I thought “feminist” was a negative label. Although I believe in equality for men and women, I found that I never called myself a feminist or allowed anyone else to identify me with that label. Before finding Pigtail Pals, I never considered that I was part of the inequality problem by allowing the media to negatively influence my perception of my body, my looks, my clothing, etcetera, etcetera. Before finding Pigtail Pals, I thought that telling a little girl at the grocery store that she is so cute or so pretty was a wonderful compliment. I didn’t realize that by doing this I was perpetuating the gender gap and telling that little girl that her looks are valued above all else. Before finding Pigtail Pals, I would have unknowingly supported the cultural message that boys are the doers and girls should be pretty, simply by exposing my Girly to mainstream media when she was old enough to watch a little TV.

I will now no longer speak negatively about my weight or looks (especially in front of my daughter) and just focus on being a healthier role model. I will now ask girls about their interests, what books they have been reading, or anything else other than their looks. I will now educate my friends and family on the same. I will now limit media exposure and influence on my daughter. I will now be a feminist for myself and my Girly.

As 2011 comes to a close, has any blog greatly influenced or changed your lives this year? Share with us.

©SeekingSelf.com, 2011

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12 Comments
  1. Cher permalink

    I say TAWANDA!!! For way to long the term feminist was equated with “man hater” and always negative. Why is it if a womyn wants to be paid equally for the same job….she is a demanding @#$%…….why is it if a womyn has confidence and takes care of herself she is deemed selfish……..why is it if a womyn is aganist violence against womyn she must hate men. I love men…..but everything isn’t all about them……..sometimes its all about us and its about time!! Finding other things to talk about to children and find positive about children that is not always based on their looks or their clothes is a harder task than saying the words that we have been socialized to place value on…..but its effort well spent. Am I perfect at it…….not by any means…….do I try and will I keep trying……..YES!

    • Yes yes… we’re not perfect, but we must continue to try.

    • Kathy permalink

      What a fantastic comment! I love the idea of “womyn”! I keep tweaking what I am trying to achieve for myself and my Girly. It seems that is the case for so many things in life, but all we can do is try to improve.

  2. Jackie permalink

    Great piece! I will say, I believe in complimenting children on their looks (BOTH genders) because they need to know that their bodies are acceptable and pleasing. But obviously that is far from the most important thing and I certainly don’t stress it above all else. It makes me sad that women think ‘feminist’ is a bad word – it’s so part of the internalizing of misogynism. I remember in the 70s Alan Alda used to go around telling people he was a feminist. I’ve loved him ever since.

    • This is also a great point! Self-esteem in all areas is important. We definitely shouldn’t drop one to compensate in another. Thanks for reminding us.

      • Cher permalink

        I think the important thing is to have balance………not to never tell your child they are beautiful or handsome or look nice……..but to also talk about and notice all aspects of them…….so that the feedback they get from you is well rounded.

    • Kathy permalink

      Thank you for your comment Jackie! I will also try to keep this in mind for my Girly. I can see how this might need just a little attention in the pre-teen/teen years.

  3. Cher permalink

    I had totally forgotten about Alan Alda calling himself a feminist………thanks for reminding me…….I loved that too!!

  4. I’m thinking we ALL (women and men!) need to be feminists for a whole host of reasons:

    http://amazingwomenrock.com/invisible-women-where-is-half-the-worlds-population

    http://amazingwomenrock.com/20-reasons-why-we-still-need-the “F” word

  5. Thanks for your guest blog post, Kathy! This is such wonderful discussion. We must continue to remember, remind, and discuss!

    • Kathy permalink

      You bet! This topic is so important for all of us. I had a lot of fun with this! Thank you for the opportunity!

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