Filed under: life, the universe, and everything
Preface: To those of you who think my URL is an indication of an agenda, please see here and be enlightened. Thank you.
Someone recently asked me how I became a feminist.
Let me set the scene for you. I’m ten years old, living in Ogden, Utah. My father is stationed at Hill Air Force Base, and I’m merrily exploring hitherto unimagined depths of unpopularity at Horace Mann Elementary. As near as I can tell, my English teacher has decided that the only way to maintain order in his class is to join in bullying me (What a pathetic admission of failure on his part!). I was raised Methodist, but in this atmosphere my Mom decides that the best way to deal with my social ills at school is to send me to Mormon Sunday school so I can fit in. (Gag!)
This is both the year that I discovered Ursula K. Le Guin–especially The Left Hand of Darkness and The Dispossessed, my first exposure to feminism–and the year someone told me I couldn’t go to heaven unless my husband took me.
Apparently, the Methodists are wifty liberals, ’cause they were ordaining women ministers in the 1950s. So, you know. The Mormon Sunday school thing was kind of a bust, and as for the husband thing? Not just no, hell no. Luckily, I had the Ogden Public Library and their young adult section to keep me company in my heresy.
After that, we moved to Germany. European girls can grocery shop topless if they feel like it. I think it’s dumb that I can’t, but I also have no desire to take my top off in public because I’m a product of my culture. Dumb or not, I don’t want to show you my tits. 😉
Germany is also where I discovered Star Trek. Armed Forces Network showed it on prime time, Thursdays at 7pm if I recall correctly. I always identified with Spock because he was the outsider. And A Wrinkle in Time–I read that one over and over and over. I loved Meg because she was the outcast, but she was also an awesome math chick. And the book was about her.
So, grrls: what books/movies/TV shows were extra awesome to you when you were young/changed you/saved your sanity? Why?