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.
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.
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?
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.
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!
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