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Up until this time, I could run as fast as the fastest boy, but then they got training in their many after-school sports. Girls had water ballet, dance club, and, of course, cheerleading. Years later, between 1962 and 1969, working in a professional health care office, I was subjected to fanny pats as part of the “fringe benefits,” as the doctor called it. Of course, there were the typical off-color sexist and demeaning comments to and about women. It was pervasive. The women’s movement was in its early stages and hadn’t filtered down to small offices or to the large university where I also worked.
My girlfriends were getting married and changing their names, which in a pre-Internet world meant I lost track of many simply because I had no way to find them and stay in contact, By the time I married in 1974, I was most definitely a feminist, politically and personally, I even enjoyed the wind blowing through the visible dark hair that I let grow on my lower legs, I was well aware of how being “ladylike” was a term used by a how to soften pointe shoes male-dominated society to manipulate girls and women into acting in ways that did not serve them into achieving goals that were “out of the box.” I was 31 when I married, and I kept my birth surname, It is my name..
Finally, I am fulfilling my athletic self, working with a CrossFit trainer for seven years. I just achieved my personal best dead lift of 205 pounds. Of course, I am very stoked about it and enjoy my strength enormously. However, I do wonder what I might have achieved if Title IX had passed when I was 8 years old. It brings tears to my eyes when I see young girls and young women working out and fully participating in sports, as if it is their birthright, which it most definitely is. Marilyn Porter.
Liberated but a feminist?, I consider myself to be a “liberated” female, and have felt so from a very early age, I have always preferred the company of males, doing what was how to soften pointe shoes considered to be “tomboy” activities such as climbing trees, hopping fences, collecting bugs, etc.; however, I was also very much in touch with my feminine side: loving to play dress-up, sewing clothes for my dolls, wearing dresses, I was very comfortable in my skin until I hit puberty in junior high school, when I “blossomed” into what many males found attractive, and what many females found to be competition, This is where I’ve always had issues with “feminism”..
As I grew up in the 1960s and 1970s San Francisco, and feminism/radicalism was on the rise, it became very difficult for me to understand why I couldn’t be a woman in my own way, embracing all aspects of being female while also wanting to feel empowered. I was the youngest of seven in an immigrant family who was taught to cook, sew, clean, respect authority, but I was also taught to work hard, play hard and not ever succumb to oppression. I learned to truly enjoy all that was considered “womanly work”– I made all my own clothes from the time I was 10, looked forward to helping my mother in the kitchen, and had (and still do have) major OCD about cleanliness. I also knew that I was physically “beautiful” and had a certain ability to attract male attention. I saw nothing wrong with any of these traits.
At 17, I began my higher education at UC Berkeley, where the feminist movement was at an all-time high, I would be scolded for allowing myself to be “chained to the kitchen stove” whenever I chose to how to soften pointe shoes cook for my boyfriend and found myself in constant arguments with these women for succumbing to traditional roles, They never once understood that it was my choice (isn’t that the basis of feminism?) to be in that kitchen, no one had forced me there: I liked to cook, I also liked to look good, but never wore makeup, shaved my legs or armpits (lucky me, I guess, because I’m half Asian), I was also subjected to my father’s consternation when I would visit home braless, have a new boyfriend, or wax philosophical about religion (I was raised as a profound Christian)..
My parents (and I suppose my family) considered me to be downright radical, but “feminists” considered me to be “old fashioned.” For me, being a feminist means being able to choose who you want to be as a woman, embracing all that makes us different from men, but not necessarily in an adversarial way. For a woman to tell me how I am supposed to look or behave is no different than a man telling me. No one should have that power over me (or anyone else). The biggest feminine cause I do support is equal pay for equal work. Another cause I support is a woman’s right to choose what can be done to her body, i.e. abortion rights. I also believe that women should be better represented in all fields, including politics, sports, entertainment, and that they should be given more attention for all that they do in their contributions to society in general.
I am currently 58, married for 28 years, and have raised three sons who are now adults, I am, according to my husband and sons, a “renaissance woman” in that I can do just about anything, I have volunteered in our community, my sons’ schools, coached their soccer and t-ball teams, I also cooked dinner every day, worked as a teacher, become an how to soften pointe shoes artist, all while being a housewife and stay-at-home mom.” Nothing has ever stood in my way because I have always embraced all that I love..