Part 2: Feminism is not an ugly word

9 Dec

(Continued from Dec. 7 post)

In the month of November there were three instances that reminded me of the importance of feminism and challenged me to identify the role I can play as a newly not-so-quiet feminist. Here’s the third one:

This month, I was able to continue mentoring two female high school students that I had worked with during my previous year as a Public Ally.  One of my mentees is a senior and looking to go to college to major in computer engineering.  A recent  conversation of ours went a little like this:

Mentee: “So … I need some help finding scholarships for computer engineering.”

Me: “All right, let’s see what we can find based on being a women in the field of science.”

Mentee: “Oh. OK, I didn’t know that was a big deal.”

This conversation had me thinking in several different directions: “Awesome! We need more women in science careers!” and “You’re right — why is it a big deal?” and “How can I prepare her best to enter a male-dominant field?”  And I didn’t have a concrete answer to those last two.

The way I felt after that conversation with my mentee was much of how November felt: overwhelming but optimistic.  Through these experiences and others I have unearthed, within me, a whole slew of questions, thoughts, and concerns about women’s rights and equality.

Within the next few months, I hope to figure out how I can best use this enthusiasm in an intentional way to benefit all different kinds of women.  Although I am typically a “big-picture” kind of gal,  I can’t see myself going at it this one “en masse.” I have a pretty strong sense I will be “grass-roots” in my efforts, because of my passion for one-on-one mentoring, for women’s rights and equality

Until I figure it all out, I will be celebrating the strong women in my life and who push me to do and be better than I was yesterday.

How has a women in your life pushed you to do and be better? Let’s celebrate them together!

Current Ally Conceptia and I "high-fiving" during this year's core training week.

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One Response to “Part 2: Feminism is not an ugly word”

  1. imdelgado December 21, 2011 at 3:45 pm #

    Lindsay, thanks for encouraging us to think about inspiring women in our own lives. I’m lucky enough to have several to choose from but I’d like to mention one in particular: Dr. Madeline Perez, Professor of Social Work at Saint Joseph College in West Hartford, CT.

    Madeline is a dynamic professor, an expert at creating a framework for students to take responsibility for their own learning. Not only is she really accessible (she’s no stuffy academic) but she’s also a fantastic community organizer, having orchestrated a New York City public education reform initiative for her Master’s in Social Work final project. She was also recently featured in Connecticut Magazine’s 40 Under 40: Community Members Making a Difference article! Her most recent accomplishment, however, is earning her PhD in Social Work. I’m so proud to call her a mentor and to be able to highlight her work here!

    http://www.sjc.edu/admissions/in_the_spotlight/faculty_spotlights/perez.html
    http://www.connecticutmag.com/Connecticut-Magazine/March-2011/40-Under-40/

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