The "F" word

I'm a fan of lots of "F" words: flip flops, falafel, and that 4-letter F-word that comes catapulting off my tongue when I stub my toe, step on the cat, or accidentally drink my paint water.

One particular "F" word though, has gotten a lot of attention lately, and not unlike that other 4-letter F-word, it's not always been received warmly. The thing about Feminism is that it's not a bad word. It's not a scary word. It's simply a word that means "the advocacy of women's rights". In other words, it means supporting the idea that women are equal to men. That's it. It doesn't mean, "man-hating" or the idea that women are superior (although, have you ever seen a man with a head cold vs a woman in active labor? But I digress...).

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Supporting women's equality does not mean actively trying to devalue men. This is not a mutually exclusive concept where only one gender gets to win. Over half of the country's population is female, and it genuinely baffles me as to why empowering half of the country could possibly be seen as a bad thing. What is there to be afraid of?

...while the contents of our underpants may differ, the contents of our characters do not.

This shouldn't even be up for discussion, much less be a hot-button political issue. Yes, there are many differences between men and women; we are not the same. Yes, we have different chromosomes and while the contents of our underpants may differ, the contents of our characters do not. Women deserve the same rights and opportunities as men, and vice versa. The end.

I do realize that there are different religious beliefs and gender-specific limitations (for example, men lack the uterus required to conceive and grow a fetus, and women lack the set of testicles required to scratch loudly while watching television). I am simply suggesting that all women be afforded the same opportunities.

I look forward to the day when my granddaughter, or Madame President, as we'll probably call her, laughs at the stories I'll tell her about women earning 70 cents on the dollar for doing the same work as a man. She will shake her head at my stories, the way that I did when MY grandmother told me stories about walking to school uphill both ways.

I have no doubt that equality will someday be a given, a complete non-issue that we brazenly take for granted. Eventually no one will remember anything differently and we can focus on more pressing arguments, like which way the toilet paper roll should face...

Sharon Jones, 1956-2016

We're very saddened to hear about the passing of the incomparable soul singer, Sharon Jones. Her voice and courageous spirit will be missed.

Sharon Jones, 1956-2016

Sharon Jones, 1956-2016

More badass women from science and diplomacy

More inspirational women, this week with a focus on science and diplomacy.

Madeleine Albright - American politician and diplomat

Madeleine Albright - American politician and diplomat

Jane Goodall - British primatologist, ethologist, anthropologist, and UN Messenger of Peace

Jane Goodall - British primatologist, ethologist, anthropologist, and UN Messenger of Peace

Grace Hopper - American computer scientist and United States Navy Rear Admiral

Grace Hopper - American computer scientist and United States Navy Rear Admiral

Katherine G. Johnson - American physicist, space scientist, and mathematician

Katherine G. JohnsonAmerican physicist, space scientist, and mathematician

Hedy Lamarr - Austrian and American film actress and inventor

Hedy Lamarr - Austrian and American film actress and inventor

Sally Ride - American physicist and astronaut

Sally Ride - American physicist and astronaut

Mary Shelley - English novelist, short story writer, dramatist, essayist, biographer, and travel writer

Mary Shelley - English novelist, short story writer, dramatist, essayist, biographer, and travel writer

biographical summaries from Wikipedia