A couple of days ago we discussed what it takes to be a feminist politician, and the consensus seems to be that it is not enough to simply embrace the label. To be truly pro-woman, we decided, a politician must work to protect women's rights and freedoms.
Yet, how about for the rest of us? What does it mean to be a pro-woman - a feminist private citizen?
I'll start by admitting that I've felt most feminist not when working for a non-profit organization that seeks economic justice for low-income women, as I do now, but as a teacher. Challenging the cavalier expressions of homophobia I often heard from my students (and sometimes even from the faculty and staff), asking students to question their assumptions about gender and race (and as a Spanish teacher in a small rural town I saw some attitudes in young people that I'd naively believed to be dying out), and fighting with the administration to provide more support for pregnant students - there were a lot of up-hill battles, but I know I won at least a couple.
Now, even though I work for an organization with feminist aims, my days are spent drafting letters of inquiry and editing grants. Its a good cause and I believe in the organization and its goals, but I don't feel more feminist now than I did in years past.
That's why I believe that, for those of us who are not writing policies or voting on fair pay, there are still many ways to be pro-woman. The Professor and FeministGal have already published some suggestions for how we can all be pro-woman activists post-graduation, but I want to hear from readers:
What do you do that's pro-woman?
What does being pro-woman even mean for private citizens?