My Feminist Love Story
By Whitney Kippes
[dropcap background="no" color="#333333"]S[/dropcap]itting on the metro in Washington DC, riding home from yet another happy hour, I never expected to meet my new best friend. I guess you just can’t predict how the little things you do will impact your life.Back in 2009 I was still growing into my feminism. I was more confident in the vocabulary of feminism, but I was trying to understand how to place my views, perspectives and sense of self within the many waves and evolutions of feminism. I was deeply in love with the feminist website Feministing which was nurturing, so when I learned that two of my favorite Feministing bloggers J. Courtney Sullivan and Courtney Martin were collaborating on Click: When We Knew We Were Feminists, I was quick to pre-order it.[divider type="short" spacing="10"]
[dropcap background="no" color="#333333"]F[/dropcap]ast forward to just days after I received the book, riding home on the metro with just enough post happy hour buzz to make me show my complete and utter joy of reading fellow feminists’ stories.
I should also say, at this point I was a pretty lonely person. Like a lot of DC residents, I had just moved from somewhere else, and I was having a hard time making new friends. I didn’t know exactly where I fit into things. I had a strong group of friends, but we had rapidly dispersed across the country, leaving me feeling disconnected. Just as I was learning more about feminism and wanting to discuss all of the interesting and challenging concepts I was grappling with, I didn’t really have a lot of people to talk to about it.
That’s why my normally shy self just about exploded when the young woman sitting next to me on the train asked what I was reading, and then about exploded with positive energy about how awesome it was that I was reading Click, and how much she was looking forward to getting a copy as well. We chatted briefly, which was lovely, but then the awkward moment came, when I had to get off at the next stop.
I did something I had never done before. I offered my brand new business card to a potential friend.[divider type="short" spacing="10"]
[dropcap background="no" color="#333333"]T[/dropcap]urns out, that was just about the best decision I could have made. Not only did my new friend accept my card, but she hopped off at the same stop as me, and as we walked toward our homes, we learned that we lived just blocks away from each other. Spewing excitement at having met (and possibly still burning off that happy hour bliss), we exchanged numbers.
If I hadn’t pulled out Click on that day, I may never have met one of my best friends. Feminism has a unique power to unite people.
This wouldn’t be the last time that feminism brought me some of my closest friendships. Getting to know people who care about similar issues, are willing to challenge my perspectives, and push me to question and change has done so much to help me grow as a person and as a feminist. It’s made me friends when I had none, and strengthened connections forged in the earliest years of my life.
This is my feminist love story.