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How I 'became' a feminist and lesbian

Flashback Friday, a column on feminist notions...

One of the things that really astounds me is the Awakening. You know that feeling of lying in bed and suddenly realising that you have been awake for some time. You realise that you have been lying there thinking and time has passed. Catching those last few thoughts before the Awakening lasts as long as the memory of a dream - not long. My waking into feminism was exactly like that. I never thought I 'needed' feminism. I knew myself, my mind, my capabilities. I could act and react. I believed that the only difference between men and women was biological, genital, surmountable.

How wrong I was. I became aware that my previous stance and my current stance is a choice. The world brainwashes you, as does any system, feminism included. The difference is, that if you have become aware of an alternative reality, it undermines the ubiquitousness of reality number one. Alternative realities give the possibility of choosing, of making an informed decision. Of saying, 'These bits suit me better.'

Books by Mary Daly, Cheris Kramerae, Sandra Gilbert and Susan Gubar, and Germaine Greer got the ball rolling. Now I cannot separate my feminist eyes from my what-would-you-call-it eyes. And there is no going back, no unreading, no untelling, no unpeeling feminism from my life. I wouldn't even be able to scratch loose an edge. Nor would I want to.

I believe that there is a feminist continuum. At one point is a radical lady and the point right next to her is the radicallesbian. Both are fanatic, both actively defend their position. Between these two positions lie myriad other positions that fill up every millipoint on the continuum, including women who say, "I am not a feminist, but..." and women who say, "I know that you think I should leave him because he hits me, but..." All these women are on and belong on the continuum.

I am a radicallesbian. I approach men warily, and women with no guise or guile. I have not been raped, or molested. I am not running away. I am running toward.

Cinnamon Gurl sparked this off. Thanks. Each week the Flashback Friday: Feminist Edition will feature a story that has something to do with being or becoming a woman or feminist. This series will continue until I run out of stories. I love having guest bloggers. If you have a story you want to tell and you want to be a guest blogger here, please email me; or feel free to link to your own story in the comments.


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