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Page 69: February Check In

What is your current favorite Instagram hashtag? Obviously, right now it’s the #xoxoselfiechallenge. We are having so much fun over there!! Go check it out. We’re making new friends and being awesome and encouraging. It’s such a fun group. And we’re only 8 days in, so far, there’s plenty of time for you to join. Here’s a link to instructions and what it all means.
Also, though, I’m obsessed with watching hand lettering videos on Instagram right now. It makes me really want to learn how to do it, myself. I get sucked into #handlettering really easily. Every day.

What was the last restaurant where you ate? …hold on. I’m thinking about it. We went to Applebee’s for Kat’s birthday but has it really been that long since I’ve been to a restaurant? Sometimes I get my brunch from Craft Coffee because their granola is bomb. IMG_6723

What was the last thing you binge watched? I wish I could say it wasn’t Keeping Up With The Kardashians but it’s still true. I’ve backed off a lot, though, because I find that after I watch that show, I put on lots of eyeliner and go online window shopping at ASOS. So I’ve been significantly limiting my TV time.

What’s your drink of choice? Last week I mixed tequilla and Naked Juice and it was completely delightful! It might be a while before I give that up. Not the cheapest cocktail but I don’t drink often, so we all win.

What are you reading?  Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert. I don’t have all that much time to read lately so it’s taking me a while to get through it but that’s good. It’s important to really digest inspiration. And if you don’t have all that much time for reading but still want to learn about the creativity that lives inside of you, check out Liz Gilbert’s podcast which will really get you excited.
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What was something that inspired you, today? Can I say “me” and not sound utterly conceited? But, dude, hustle begets hustle.
Also, Beyonce because always Beyonce.
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What word are you overusing? “Legit”. It’s legit driving me crazy.

 

What is your resolution for tomorrow? Start packing décor for the move. I am a little worried that it will make our apartment look sparse and sad but at the same time, I’m feeling a little suffocated by all of the stuff. Also maybe getting the place to look a little bit more bare will help to motivate us to keep packing.

 

What are you looking forward to? Saturday is Galentines Day! We’re having brunch! Send me an email or a FB message if you want to come and I’ll get you the details!

 

How are you doing, today? It’s Monday and I’m feeling good! I have discovered that you have to strike when the iron is hot and it feels hot, today, so I’m going to get as much work done as humanly possible.

What are you doing this week?
XOXO, Lib

 

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Page 68: Feminist Friday Feat. Kat

This is part of a long series of posts which will be known as Feminist Fridays. Because individuality is at the heart of feminism, I’m going to open up this space to different people each week to share with us a little portion of their unique journey.

So, I (Libby) moved to this little-ish town in the middle of Kansas nearly seven years ago. I didn’t have any friends in this town. I only knew my brother, my sister-in-law, and my neighbor (now my husband, actually). And for about a year these were all the friends that I had. Which was wonderful, don’t get me wrong. But I had a need for community. And boy did I go to the wellspring for it.

Kat is the first friend that I made on purpose in this town and through her, my life has grown this whole entire garden of friendships and relationships and experiences that I would never know if I hadn’t gathered all of my courage one day and sent her a Facebook message that, essentially, said, “You’rereallyprettyandcoolandsofunnyontheinternet. Do you want to be my friend????” And then for some reason she was like, “You don’t seem terrifying. Yeah ok!” And I’m grateful for her every day.

And you will be, too.

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Do you want to tell the people a little about yourself, Kat? Katherine G. Hurl lives in McPherson, Kansas with her two dogs. She is currently in training for her dream job of  ‘Queen of the World’ which she hopes to see come to fruition in her lifetime (even though she would settle for it being awarded posthumously). Beautiful. Thank you for that.

How long have you identified as a feminist? Not very long at all. I feel like I am the tiniest of all baby feminists! I started leaning towards feminism about a year ago and it’s grown even more so in the last 6 months.

Can you think of a situation in your life that really stood out as a defining moment regarding feminism in your life? As far as a “defining moment” goes, there are SO MANY. My journey towards feminism began early last year after a long relationship came to particularly nasty end. My self-esteem was already low but the end of that relationship really broke me down to nothing. I started reading quotes by strong women (especially Amy Poehler because she could make me laugh) and it got me PUMPED UP. I started to realize my worth. I’d never seen it presented in such a way and it really opened my eyes to all the injustices I’d either been subjected to or had subjected my own self to for so long. I had accepted so much of it as “just the way things are” when I should’ve been standing up for myself and other women. The one quote that hit me between the eyes the most was one that said something to the effect of “You’re not being sensitive- he’s just being an asshole.” I think I literally got off my couch and swung my fists in the air. :P My whole life I’d been branded “too sensitive” and told just to be quiet and not to make waves. Now I just want to roar all over the place.

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What makes you roar? So many topics. I don’t like men telling women what to do. I don’t like members of a religion telling other members of other religions what to do. I don’t like women telling other women what to do, and I CERTAINLY object to law makers trying to tell me what I can and cannot do with my own reproductive system or (more recently) trying to tell me what to wear, even. I object to the idea that if I go to a party in a miniskirt, I’m “asking for it” or have less to offer in a conversation or IQ test. The system is jacked up and we need to stand up and make sure future generations stand this racist and sexist system on its head.

Going back to “I don’t like women telling other women what to do”, I hate that we’re so ingrained to see other women as the enemy. I hate that jealousy is such an overwhelming feeling. We blame the “other woman” or “side chick” when men or our own psyches are setting us up against each other. It’s easier to hate on other women than to blame the men we “love” for being assholes. What’s up with that?
Oh man, you make me want to throw out a round of applause! I wish that translated well to text.

image4 What does Feminism look like in your practical, day-to-day life? Well, since finally getting a grasp on my self worth, I met a wonderful man and he has changed my day-to-day life in so many ways. It sounds cheesy but I truly would not be in this relationship if I had not gone on this journey. He gives me the room to truly be myself and a soft place to land when and if I need it. He never puts me down–which is life changing for me.

I’m still a work in progress. I stand up for myself more (especially at work) and I don’t put myself down nearly as much. I’m still working on my self-deprecating sense of humor- it’s pretty much ingrained into my being at this point.  And I’m learning how to say the word “no”. “NO!!” Can you imagine? Me ever saying no? I find myself not apologizing for my opinions. So MUCH of my life has been me presenting my opinion and tacking “…is that ok?” on the end.  I do not need the validation of others for I find validation in the love and the spirit God has given me. I just sat on it for so long that I didn’t even know it was there.

I love what you had to say here. Particularly the way that you said that your relationship wouldn’t exist without having done so much work on yourself and not the other way around. A lot of times we’re told, “Get in a good relationship and everything will fall into place!” But I’m not hearing you say that’s your story. That is definitely what we are fed. That’s what the movies say, so it must be true!! (nope) That was not my story at all. I knew I was a mess and needed to change before what I really NEEDED could walk into my life. I had to get over my hurt and hating men and my “I can do this on my own” attitude. Yes, I CAN do it on my own but it’s amazing to have someone in my life who WANTS to help me. It’s been a learning experience to LET him help me.

 

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This is Kat and her nephew, Max. They are beautiful twins.

Let’s not skip over “finally getting a grasp on my self-worth” by any means. I know that involved a lot of work–it’s not as easy as flipping a switch. What does self-care look like for you? Self-care involves a lot of slowing down and saying “no” for me. I’m such a people pleaser and I let my perception of myself get wrapped up in my ability to take care of others expectations. If someone was disappointed in me, I would agree with them and hate myself instead of telling them to take charge of their own feelings and expectations. I have to make sure I’m a priority, which is hard for me because I have been so ingrained with “don’t be selfish!” when in reality, self-care and selfishness are two completely different things. Trust me, it’s better for EVERYONE in the long run if I take time for myself. Sometimes I literally just lay on my bed or floor and stare at my ceiling fans and pray for God to remind me of what really matters or to help me prioritize things. Just taking a few minutes to breathe or meditate can do WONDERS for me. I am valuable. I am a child of God. I am not what others think of me. (Look in the mirror and repeat that several times. I dare you to not get pumped up.) Yes! Hold on one sec I just want to say this a little bit louder for the people in the back, “self-care and selfishness are two completely different things“!

If you could say one thing about this topic to a large group of people, what would you choose to say? Feminism is not a dirty word. It’s not offensive and we shouldn’t be scared to label ourselves as feminists. Stop being ignorant and look up the definition of “feminism” in the dictionary. No one should find anything even remotely offensive there. We’re not asking to be raised above men and we’re not asking for men to lower themselves. We’re asking to be treated as equals. Men and women have different strengths, yes, but no strength is better than another. They’re all valuable and WE’RE all valuable.

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What’s on your Treat Yourself list? Pizza. Lots of pizza. Pedicures. A nice glass of moscato and a bubble bath. A warm, fuzzy robe. Quiet dogs. Movie theater popcorn. Going to the movies is one of my very favorite things to do. Especially at the Warren when you can push a button and people bring you whatever you want. I am a simple girl of simple wants.

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Everyone—thank you for reading!
As always, if you have any questions or thoughts or would like to be interviewed yourself, either include them in the comments section or email me: libby(at)xoxolib.com.

XOXO, Lib

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Page 67: The Start of the #XOXOSelfieChallenge

So, this month my husband and I are moving to a house across town. I’ve lived here in this apartment for over six years and it’s going to take some legit hard work to get this place packed up. All that to say that during February, I’m going to be posting a little more lightly on the blog.

But I have to pop in to let you know that since the #XOXOSelfieChallenge started just yesterday, I have been overwhelmed with all the awesomeness. There are a few things that surprised me.
#1 I really did think that only my friends and family would be taking part but there are a good amount of people participating that I don’t know at all and that thrills me!
#2 Maybe this sounds sexist but I really don’t think that I considered that men would participate. And they are! And it excites me so much! Because, dude, self acceptance is for everyone!

I’m going to recommend that you guys go through and surf the hashtag, make friends, and build up a community of love and support!

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Thank you so much, everyone! This month is already so exciting and fun.

XOXO, Lib

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Page 66: Feminist Friday feat. Katelin!

This is part of a long series of posts which will be known as Feminist Fridays. Because individuality is at the heart of feminism, I’m going to open up this space to different people each week to share with us a little portion of their unique journey.

The day that I met Katelin, I was briefly intimidated by her beautiful hair, her easy, brilliant vocabulary and her ass-kicking boots that she wears nearly everywhere she goes (I say “briefly” because I quickly learned that she is an ally and not an enemy to me or anyone else). She’s a vision of strength and vulnerability—comfort and bravery. In the past few years as our friendship has grown I have grown as well. She knows how to hold other people up and she knows how to hold herself up as well—and when she needs help, she’s not afraid to ask for it.
One particularly rough day, Katelin reached out via-Facebook to a few of her favorite women. I was lucky enough to be on that list. We all communicated on that message thread for a few days before it was decided to start a group and that’s where our Facebook Feminist group began. Through this group, I have learned the importance of validation and affirmation and I’m generous with it, now. All that to say, I have a lot of thanks to offer to Katelin for some of my most favorite things about my life and personality. So here we go–hold onto your hats.

So, Katelin! Wanna tell us a little about yourself? Alrighttttt, so I’m Katelin. Libby and I have the same middle name. I go to school at Wichita state, and I’m a bartender. So I study psychology both academically and professionally. I live with my rabbit named Spock and I’m not doing justice to him if I don’t include a picture of him. He’s the fucking cutest. I’m learning the cello, I’m learning Turkish, I like to read, and I do a movie podcast with my friends that can be found by searching Hivemind on the iTunes podcast library, or here.
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How long have you known that you were a feminist? Did you have any misgivings about adopting that label? I came into my own as a feminist around the time that I started college. I went to an incredibly conservative, Baptist school for my first couple of years and that conservatism manifested itself in ways that I didn’t yet understand but made me uncomfortable. For instance, on one of my first nights in the dorms, my RA told me that I had to attend a secret event, and that all she could tell me was that I needed to “look as cute as possible, maybe wear a skirt.” All of the freshman women were lined up on the lawn while the boys from other dorms paraded by with flowers, serenading us and giving flowers to the one’s they liked best. Despite the protests of my RA, I left the event and went back to my dorm and just cried. (I just want to interject, here and say that an almost identical situation happened to me in my first week of college at a similar type of school! I thought it was weird at the time but now I’m just very hopeful that it’s not, like, standard procedure on Christian campuses? Hoping it was just two very specific flukes. Ok, go on, Katelin. Sorry to interrupt.)

Luckily, I was involved in college debate, a notoriously academic and liberal subculture, that helped me put words to the things I was seeing around me; sexism. It also helped me realize that I am a feminist (even as the activity and some of the people involved perpetuated sexist tropes common in a community dominated by white men). I had no misgivings about adopting the label of feminist; I’ve always been a kind of all-or-nothing person. And when I am something, I try to embody it. When I want something, I needed it fifteen minutes ago (sometime I’ll tell you about how I got Spock).

I’ll bet you were AWESOME at debate–how did it help you to recognize and put words to the sexism around you? Debate is an awesome activity, and I think that it’s a good idea for a lot of young women to participate in it. It’s an academic activity, so it involves a lot of research about the topic. But you can talk about whatever you want in debate, including feminism. I was reading all of these empirical examples of sexism with commentary by people smarter than me- like Toni Morrison, Judith Butler, Gloria Steinem- and they were putting terms to what I was feeling. At the same time, debate has some problems. There are quite a few more men in the activity than women. Have you ever felt like you said the same thing as a man, and it was the man that was heard? That’s how debate felt.

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Do you think that it’s important to claim the label of “feminist”? This is a tough question. In some ways I think it is important to own the label of feminist because when people deny the term, it casts a negative light on what we are, what we are trying to accomplish. Shunning the word makes it a dirty one, and that’s just not what feminism looks like today. Contemporary scholars and activists agree that feminism looks like the belief that women and men should be socially, politically, and economically equal. Nothing more or less than this- and whatever else you believe, if rooted in this basic notion, is still feminist. So part of me thinks that if you live your life toward this end, and your actions reflect that, then it’s not necessary to adopt the term. At the same time, I think the population we live in is nuanced enough to realize that language has an effect on reality, and the way we interpret the world around us is affected by the words that we use. Therefore, if we as feminists don’t own the word, what is that saying about our movement? What about it do we deny? Personally, I believe that men and women should be politically, socially, and economically treated equally- so for me I don’t want to shun any aspect of that.
You answered that so awesomely that I feel like I never have to ask anyone that question ever again and any time someone asks me—which is often, I’ll just link them to this conversation.

Can you think of a situation that really stood out as a defining moment regarding feminism in your life? Rather than one moment that kind of stood out as a feminist turning point, for me I see it as a slow accumulation of events and experiences over time. Eventually, I got to the point where I was so fed up, fed up with apologizing.

Things I’ve earnestly apologized for in my life: being taller than a guy, not having sex because I’m on my period, having an opinion that wasn’t the same as a guy, I’ve apologized for demanding to be heard when I was interrupted.

I’ve become so fucking tired of apologizing, and did the men in those situations MAKE me apologize? Of course not, but we as Midwestern women were raised to atone for the sin of being a Midwestern woman. I suspect it is similar in other parts of the country, but I can only speak the narrative I’ve known and heard in the Midwest. The prairie is beautiful, the plains are bathed in sunlight, we as Midwesterners, have a real relationship with the land–but goddamnit if I wasn’t also raised to fear my sexuality, to think that my innocence was going to be forcibly taken from me at every turn. In Kansas schools, you don’t learn what sex is, you learn not to get into cars with strangers, that men WILL try to date rape you, that you should fear your sexuality because you don’t understand it (and you don’t understand it because they didn’t tell you). And does it protect us? We all know the answer to that.

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What does Feminism look like in your practical, day-to-day life? On a daily basis, feminism looks like community to me. It looks like our Facebook group, and validation. I think we live in a culture that glorifies work and stress and busyness, so Jenny Blackburn and I exclaim loudly, to each other and everyone, that we aren’t ashamed to say we’re doing awesome. We aren’t tired! We’ve had the best day! We aren’t afraid to say we’re killing it, that we’re going to be loud and take what we want out of this life.

Feminism for me (at this point in my life) looks like not ceding my desires for the desires of others. I get to put myself first and most importantly, I don’t apologize to anyone for that. I can’t hang out with you because I’m taking up the cello? I can’t fulfill the expectation you placed on me without my consent because I’m doing a podcast with my friends? Or I just don’t want to because I’m reading a book? I’m. Not. Sorry. And I surround myself with people that appreciate that in me.

Also, reinforcement and validation– online, in real life, at work, at school, with others, with yourself, all the time. I am surrounded by the best women in the world, and I’m at spot in my life where I place high priority on cultivating those relationships. It takes active love to undo what we are taught–that women are competition, that they are dramatic, that they are catty or dumb, that they should even be labeled in those broad-strokes terms. These days, when people do linguistic violence to women, by saying they are “guy’s girls” because women are “too dramatic,” I’m willing to engage in that discourse, to try to have a more complex discussion about the insidiousness of those comments.This is a topic I could go on and on about. But kind of leads into the next question:

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This photo of Katelin was captured by Kalene (who you met in last week’s post).

If you could say one thing about feminism to a large group of people, what would you choose to say? Be kind to yourself. If you wouldn’t let a mean person talk to one of your friends that way, don’t talk to yourself that way.
As long as you aren’t harming others, do what you like without apology. Often in our Facebook group, people say “don’t take any bullshit!” And what that means to me is that I don’t have to live up to the expectations others set for me without my consent. I used to feel riddled with guilt every time I didn’t do what someone else wanted me to do. I imagine a lot of women feel this way. Now think about how often you felt guilty (is it always? Imagine how easy it is to constantly apologize in this paradigm.) Now think about if you felt guilty regarding something you had no control over- your height, your period, your obligations. Is it silly to apologize for those things? Yes. Do we all do it? Yes. Think of how much free time and energy you’ll have when you aren’t chasing the blurry and elusive expectations of others. So free yourself to live up to your own expectations. I think that might be that turning point that we discussed earlier.

Feminism is active. But it’s fulfilling and worth it and the best call to obligation I’ve ever known.

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Everyone—thank you for reading!
If you have any questions or thoughts or would like to be interviewed yourself, either include them in the comments section or email me: libby(at)xoxolib.com.

XOXO, Lib

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Page 65: Introducing the #xoxoselfiechallenge

I say this every single year but just in case any of you are new and don’t know this about me, I just need to shout it from the rooftops: I LOVE VALENTINES DAY! Oh wait, before we go any further, you should be listening to this song while reading, to get the mood right.

I love all the hearts and pink and red and smoochy lips and glitter and bling that pops up in one of the most disgusting months of the entire year. Weather-wise, can you think of a more gross month? Ugh. This winter is long and our feelings aren’t doing great at all but at least there are roses in February.

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I’m also not one of those people who feels like February is for lovers. It’s not. It’s for love. It’s for love in the middle of the crummiest-feeling time of the year. Whoever invented Valentines Day knew what they were doing.

Because February is for love I’m making a point to celebrate all kinds of love. Yeah, I already got a smushy, mushy, gushy card for my husband but guess what else? I’m planning a Galentines Day Brunch for my girl friends, too (let me know if you want to come)! And I’m working to orchestrate something for all of you far and wide, too. But first let me back up real quick.

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Selfies get a bad rap. “She’s so vain.” “Look at her begging for attention.” “This guy’s just trying to get laid.” “She’s making the same face in every photo!”
To that, I say, “And?”
It feels really good to put yourself out there. It’s brave and vulnerable and fun. It’s easy, and not really all that fun, to criticize, though.

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I am a firm believer in selfies as a form of self-love. I don’t get mad when I see my friends posting photos of themselves, at all. I mean, in a world where we’re constantly being told that we’re too baggy, saggy, puffy, droopy, plump, wide, slim, young, old, or tired, any act of self-celebration is revolutionary. And I say let’s grab hands and march into battle, together, without apology!

So that’s why, for the month of February, XOXO, Lib is hosting a selfie challenge!
I wrote up a list of themes for each and every day to keep things interesting. We’ll post our selfies to Instagram with #xoxoselfiechallenge. Each week, with permission, I’ll grab a few from the hashtag thread to highlight and post here on the blog.
Some of these themes are pretty obvious but others are really vague—that was done by design. You can make this anything that you want it to be, really! Take ownership of your self(ie)!
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#xoxoselfiechallenge for February, 2016:
1. What I Like About Me
2. Action Shot
3. Feet First
4. Long Day
5. Bed Head
6. Nice Hair!
7. Celebrate
8. Twinning
9. Listen
10. Get Moving
11. Lunch Break
12. What’s up?
13. Best Friend
14. Sweet Treat
15. Guilty Pleasure
16. Full Frontal
17. Wake Up
18. New Perspective
19. Treat Yourself
20. Listen
21. Stre-e-e-e-tch
22. Angry Eyes
23. Hobby Time
24. Fake It (till you make it)
25. Morning Routine
26. Hard at Work
27. Clear Mind
28. Upgrade
29. Eat Green

Rules: Starting Monday, February 1st, anyone who wants to contribute can! You don’t have to do it every day—though that IS the challenge of it. You don’t even have to follow the list of themes. You make this into whatever works for you. But in the end, I want our community to come together over celebration of ourselves and each other!
The only real rule is that you take a photo that contains at least a little bit of yourself in it.
If you don’t have instagram, you can share your photos to the XOXO, Lib Facebook page or email them to me at libby(at)xoxolib.com and we’ll all get in on this together!
If you’re on board, let me know in the comments or on the Facebook page!! And if you want to share this with your friends to get them in on it, share this post!! The more people we get involved, the more fun that it will be. I’m so excited to get to know all of you just a little bit more and put a selfie to a name!

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Thank you, everyone, for giving me the opportunity to do what I really love to do. Just by reading and sharing you’re doing more than you know and I feel so utterly over the moon about it.

XOXO, Lib
Follow me on Instagram, too! I’m liblibby.

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Page 64: What a beautiful weekend…

This weekend was really nice. There’s a lot of work that we should be doing. But we pushed all that aside for now. We’ll make up for it.

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We had our nephew, Owen, overnight and we had the best time. We built a lot of things. We ate a lot of kid food. We had a slumber party on air mattresses in the living room where we watched Aladdin until we fell asleep.

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We went to church where, in Children’s Church, Owen misinterpreted the story of Jesus Calming The Sea in such a way that holding in my laughter brought me to tears. But then we got to tell him the real story and he was like, “Oh, okay. That makes sense.”

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And I learned that I say no to everything and Ryan says yes very easily and I hope that if we ever get to become parents, I can learn a lot from him. For example, Owen wanted to wear his tie to church with a t-shirt. I laughed and was like, “Hahaha. No.” And Ryan was like, “But why not, though?” And I was like, “… I don’t… I don’t know.” This is one example of about half a dozen things that went like this.

And then I went to a coffee shop and met up with some of the most beautiful women that have ever existed. I can’t believe that I didn’t know most of these women before but also I can’t believe that some of us only just recently met. This past year has been about making new friends and really connecting with old ones. I didn’t think I’d be able to make good friends in my adulthood but it’s been so much better to have friends in my 30’s.

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And that was my gorgeous weekend filled with gratitude and love and cuddles.

What was your weekend like?
XOXO, Lib

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Page 63: Feminist Fridays–Introducing Kalene

This is part of a long series of posts which will be known as Feminist Fridays. Because individuality is at the heart of feminism, I’m going to open up this space to share with different people each Friday.

I met Kalene… okay well technically I haven’t even met her yet in real life (I will on Sunday) but that doesn’t mean that I don’t know her. My husband met her, once, at a store. Kalene walked up to him and said, “Are you Libby’s husband??” Which was a pretty bold question to ask because my husband has an identical-twin brother and they’re constantly getting mistaken for one another in public places.
Kalene (and a few other people that you’ll meet through out the life of this blog-feature) is an example of one of my favorite parts of the internet. We met through a Feminist Facebook group. I’m not going to tell you the name of it because I’m very protective over it and I’m afraid of it growing too large. But this is where we became familiar with one another. Later she sent me a real friend request and we talked back and forth and realized that our souls are married to one another in some way. I don’t know if I told her I felt that way but this is how she’s finding out. Right here in public for the whole world to see. I wanted to ask Kalene some questions about her journey to feminism and she was excited to share it with you! I’m so grateful to introduce a piece of her to you, today.

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Thank you so much for doing this, Kalene! I appreciate you. Do you want to start off talking a little bit about yourself: where you live and who you live with?
Hi my name is Kalene and I grew up in the sunny south but have fallen madly in love with the Kansas prairie. I live with my hubby, Jason, and our daughters, Emerson and Eowyn.
I also want to include here, a few other things that make Kalene completely awesome. She’s running her own business as a dreamy photographer and in addition to that, and raising two children, and just having a normal life, Kalene just applied to graduate school for a Master’s in social work. She’s an actual inspiration.

How long have you known that you were a feminist?
I’m not really sure how long I’ve known I’m a feminist. I don’t think I had one big “aha!” moment as much as I just grew into it. I remember when I wouldn’t have identified as one. I grew up in a faith tradition that is big into gender roles and I would have struggled with problems of etymology related to the word feminism.

Can you think of a situation in your life that really stood out as a defining moment regarding feminism in your life?
I think the biggest shift for me happened when I discovered I was pregnant with a baby girl. Suddenly the things that frustrated me about the world and how I interacted with it as a female became so much more important. Also, I knew I wanted to have my head on straight and feet firmly planted as I grew into motherhood which meant standing up for myself in ways I hadn’t before.

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What does Feminism look like in your practical, day-to-day life?
Parenting became the most practical part of life where embracing feminism showed up. I firmly believe in co-parenting with my hubby. Except for nursing, if I can do it, he can do it. And he’s the raddest feminist dad ever. He rocks it all and totally believes his girls can do/be anything.
Recently we bought our 2 year old a shirt that says Rocket Scientist because it was being sold in the “boy” section of an online store and that’s just ridiculous.

I love the way that you brag on your wonderful husband. You always have incredible insights on marriage. One of the main misconceptions of Feminists (at least in this part of our country) is that we are man-haters or trying to feminize men. I love taking any opportunity to disprove that. Do you want to speak to that at all?
Sometimes I think the best way to counter something in the world is to just LIVE counter to it. So instead of talking about how I’m not a bra burning man hating feminist, what if we just act like I’m the norm?

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I feel like Kalene didn’t necessarily intend for me to include that in the interview, but it’s so true that I’m leaving it. That is the norm, my friend!

If you could say one thing about this topic to a large group of people, what would you choose to say?
I think if I could tell “my people” one thing about feminism that it took me a long time to grasp, it would be that equality doesn’t mean sameness. Feminism isn’t saying we are all the same. It just means we are all valued the same. I still have my husband open things for me when I’m not physically capable of it. Feminism doesn’t mean I have to be as physically strong as he is. It means that I’m strong and capable IN MY OWN ways, we all are, and we should honor that.

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Amen!

I mentioned, earlier that Kalene is a brilliant photographer. And she is. I’ll prove it to you. Here’s a link to her website and her Facebook page.

Kalene, again, thank you so much. I feel so honored for you to share this part of you with me and everyone I know and a whole bunch of people that neither of us know!
XOXO,
Lib

Readers—thank you for reading!
If you have any questions or thoughts, either include them in the comments section or email me: libby(at)xoxolib.com