At what point in your life did you consider yourself a feminist? Was it an event or a process?
I don't think I became a feminist until I dropped out of Mount Holyoke College. While at Mount Holyoke, I found that differences in political ideologies made me a social pariah among my peers. Excluding someone based on a difference in opinion seems counter-productive, and was not what I expected to find at a women's college. To me, feminists are supposed to be strong women who can tackle any challenge using fact and basic facets of debate and argumentation, rather than shirking the issues at hand with fallacies and safe spaces. Upon leaving, I rallied against this brand of feminism based in feelings, and when I enrolled in college again, this time at a state university, I started writing and speaking at events to get the opinions that weren't being heard at Mount Holyoke out to the public.
Who most influenced your awareness of your feminism?
I am a big fan of dissident voices in the feminist movement: Camille Paglia and Christina Hoff-Sommers, among others. I think modern, third-wave feminism babies women, and hurts us in the long run. While I may not agree with them all the time, having figures that counter the monolith that is 21st century feminism is important to keep us from moving toward more Orwellian times. Christina's book, Who Stole Feminism? is a must-read.
In what ways has your feminism informed your life choices?
It doesn't, really. I think living your life based on too strict of a dogmatic code is not healthy, whether religious or secular. I'm lucky to be living in an era paved by the feminist waves of the early 1900s and the 1970s, so really, I don't have that much to complain about.
In what ways do you share your feminism with others?
I think by identifying as a feminist, but not being a typical #triggered feminist that most people today would think of shows that feminism isn't one strict set of ideals. I also try to speak at events and conferences whenever I am given the opportunity.
Describe your vision of a feminist world.
In America, I enjoy the luxuries provided by earlier feminist movements, but women world-wide are not so lucky. Ideal situation: women everywhere are allowed to vote and drive, and given access to education, and don't have to worry about being tied to their husbands socio-economically. People are always ragging on the Western World, but we're pretty lucky. In less developed nations, there's a long way to go.
How I Define Feminism:
Global socio-economic equality of men and women.
Kathryn Fitzpatrick is an English major and creative writing minor at Central Connecticut State University. A bitter ex-Mount Holyoke student, she has presented her ideas about feminism at various conferences and gatherings, and her essays, "Mulder It's Me, I've Been Sexed Up Again: Exploring the Objectification of Women in Print" and "A Room of Her Own: Women's Colleges and the Transgender Revolution" were featured in the campus publication, Comp@Central. She likes George Saunders, her cat, and complaining.