CYNTHIA BEMIS ABRAMS
At what point in your life did you consider yourself a feminist? Was it an event or a process?
It was an event. In 5th grade, my elementary school principal told my mother that while my teachers had recommended me to become school patrol captain AND that I was qualified to be admitted to the High Achiever 6th Grade Class, I couldn't do both. A year later, that same principal allowed a boy to hold both positions.
Who most influenced your awareness of your feminism?
The late Senator Nancy Brataas, a significant voice in the Minnesota Legislature.
In what ways has your feminism informed your life choices?
I raised both kids to understand the inequity of representation of girls and women in our world. They've become outspoken and understanding of their privilege. My life experiences are less formed by my choices than by the movement and life-events of people in my life. Caring for old people and kids gave a chance to model strength, intelligence and compassion. Feminism and fairness impacted decisions I've made on behalf of many family members as well as those I've worked with and supervised.
In what ways do you share your feminism with others?
Via my podcast, in my public speaking that addresses leadership and generational issues, via a continuous drip of information on Facebook, through continued encouragement of both adult children to follow their dreams while helping others who don't have it as good.
Describe your vision of a feminist world.
It's a world that recognizes effort and intelligence and helps everyone learn what he or she is good at. It's a world that is removed from petty infighting within the human race because we are united in understanding that the future is dependent on our a) preserving the Earth, b) utilizing our best efforts to feed, house and clothe all, particularly the Third and Second Worlds and c) provides our young people with hope that they have value and responsibility in our society.
How I Define Feminism:
While I largely concur that it is activism in pursuit of equal rights and opportunities for women, I believe it has expanded in the last 20 years to reflect the larger goal of equal rights and opportunities for all. Privilege is quantifiable, so the distance to equality varies by oppressed population.
Cynthia is a PR & leadership consultant and podcaster, who thinks a lot about messaging, tactics and audiences. In addition to producing Advanced TV Herstory, a podcast, she also volunteers as a medical advocate for the YWCA of Metropolitan Chicago and serves on the national board of the (Land)Mines Advisory Group - America. Cynthia holds a master's degree in organizational leadership from the University of St. Catherine (St. Paul, MN).