At what point in your life did you consider yourself a feminist? Was it an event or a process?
Attending an all-girls high school (that shared a campus and classes and activities with an all-boys school) that valued and promoted feminism helped to start forming my identity as a feminist. My working mother did, too.
Who most influenced your awareness of your feminism?
Gloria Steinem is my personal hero as a feminist and writer. Her bravery, vision, determination and dedication to feminism and to women's rights have most influenced my own determination and dedication, as well.
In what ways has your feminism informed your life choices?
My identity as a feminist has influenced my choices in my personal life and professional life. As a single mother to my preteen daughter and young son, it's important to me to serve as a role model, and I have shared the ideas of feminism with them. It's a joy to see that they both identify as feminists already. In my professional life, I am part of several organizations of women writers, including Binders, JAWS and EWIP, and those that support equality and social rights, such as PEN Center USA and the ACLU. I actively seek to support women in publishing, as editors and writers, and help women to publish, many for the first time.
In what ways do you share your feminism with others?
I am a vocal feminist on social media, sharing relevant articles, stories and news, as well as my own fiction and non-fiction writing. At Angels Flight • literary west, we created a Resistance section, in reaction to the U.S. election, and within it, publish work by and about women in support of feminism.
Describe your vision of a feminist world.
My vision of a feminist world is one in which barriers for women are no longer an issue, in which women are celebrated as equals at work and at home, and in which women and those identifying as women are safe and have access to equitable income and vital and affordable health care. But we have much work to do, together, to make this dream a new reality.
How I Define Feminism:
My definition of feminism mirrors Ms. Foundation's: the social, economic and political equality of all genders.
Michele Raphael is a writer and editor, specializing in digital media, entertainment, pop culture, books, the arts, health, feminism and lifestyle. She has been published in Quartz, The Huffington Post, Glamour, Variety, Billboard and the Los Angeles Times, among other outlets. A 2014 National Press Foundation fellow, she formerly was a features editor at latimes.com and director of publications at the USC Norman Lear Center. Michele is the co-founder of Angels Flight • literary west magazine and salon series.