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Excerpt: "I was thrilled.

My senior thesis, an essay exploring the theme of oppression in several women’s novels, had been accepted for presentation at a literature conference. In college, I had been more a “dumb jock” than a scholar, and so the acceptance represented for me not only personal transformation from athlete to intellectual, but also external affirmation. Perhaps I was a good student and writer after all.

But then the conference program arrived, and I discovered my essay would be included in a panel titled “Feminism in Literature.” My delight waned. “I’m not a feminist,” I wailed to my advisor, “and I don’t want other people to think I am.” Never mind that my thesis discussed the tyranny of patriarchal societies, and the repression of women characters in fiction, and the subversive nature of the literature I was reading. I refused to be labeled a feminist, believing that in claiming such an identity, I would also be claiming to be a braburner, a man-hater, or some other object of ridicule."


Originally published on Christian Feminism Today, Reprinted by permission.