Patt Morrison for June 13, 2012

A lesson on what it means to be a feminist, from someone born after 1990

Seal Press

What does the word feminism mean to a 13-year-old?

One might guess that today’s teenagers hold a lot of misconceptions about the definition, including that feminism equates with “hairy armpits” or “man-haters,” but the reality is that the both the word and the movement lack a tangible presence for the 11 – 18 year old set.

As a high-schooler, Julie Zeilinger, who grew up in Pepper Pike, Ohio, felt this lack. After completing a research project on women who choose to abort their female children, Zeilinger took on the label “feminist” and went looking for support from schoolmates. She found very little. Worse, as she began to reach out to places like the National Organization for Women or to read blogs like Feministing, she felt equally alone and underrepresented.

So Zeilinger started her own site, TheFBomb.org, especially for teenagers. Now in her first year at Barnard, Zeilinger was recently named one of the “Eight Most Influential Bloggers under 21” by Women’s Day, as well as one of the “40 Bloggers Who Really Count,” by the Times of London. Zeilinger joins Patt today to talk about her experiences, as well as her new book, “A Little F’d Up: Why Feminism In Not A Dirty Word.”

WEIGH IN:

Do you consider yourself a feminist? What does the word mean to you? If you have a son or daughter, how do you explain it to him or her?

Guest:

Julie Zeilinger, founder, The F Bomb blog; author, “A Little F'd Up: Why Feminism is Not a Dirty Word” (2012)


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