Why I’m Proud to Call Myself a Feminist.

why I'm proud to call myself a feminist // by malene birger trench, cooper & ella dress, stuart weitzman highland boots | grace atwood, the stripe
coat // dress // boots // bag

 

Today’s post is going to be of a little more serious nature. But before we talk though, I have something important to tell you. Okay it’s really not that important but.. my most favorite trench coat in the entire world (from last year) is now available at The Outnet. Go get it. (I am wearing a size 38 which I think is a US size 6.) Everything else I’m wearing (and the look for less) is linked at the very bottom of my post, and that’s really all I have to say about clothes today.

I’ve voiced my opinions about politics before today. I know that I isolated a few of you in doing that, and I felt really bad about that. I never want to be preachy, I never want to make other people feel badly for their beliefs, and I want this blog to be a fun place to come, to talk about fashion and beauty and DIY projects and fun things like frosé and face oil.

Stay in your lane,” people might say. And I get that. But at the same time sometimes I want to talk about stuff that isn’t related to fashion and beauty. And I really hope you’ll at least hear me out. (If you don’t want to, that’s cool, too. Here are some outfit photos and everything I’m wearing is linked at the bottom of the post. Feel free to just scroll.)

First, some context. I am a registered independent. I almost always vote liberal (for me, the social and environmental issues outweigh the fiscal ones). I’ve voted conservative in the past, and I would say that about half, or maybe 40% of my friends are conservative. We have respectful but animated conversations and healthy debates around politics and I really like that we can talk about the issues without getting upset or angry. One of my favorite things in the world is to stay up late talking about politics and religion (preferably over a shared bottle of wine) with friends that have differing views from my own. I always feel like I learn something new. I should also tell you I did not march last weekend. I wish I did, but I was there in spirit stalking the photos and the videos, feeling proud of our country. (For those who will ask why I didn’t march – I was at the tail end of a godawful stomach bug… I left the house all of three times last week and was genuinely concerned that I would have what happened to Charlotte in the Sex and the City movie happen to me. If you didn’t see the movie then well, just email – I’ll tell you what happened).

But this post isn’t even about politics, really. This post is about being a feminist. And a proud one at that.

I got really fired up by reading this post. It was shared 1.7 million times last week, and it was all over Facebook and Twitter this week. I felt genuinely baffled. How, as a woman, could you say that you are over feminists? (I’m asking this from a place of curiosity and not criticism… I genuinely want to know.) Somehow the word feminist has become a dirty word… and that is what inspired me to write today’s post.

Like many of my personal posts, I will start by telling you an embarrassing story. I will warn you that it does not make me look particularly smart, but I think it’s important to tell.

I started referring to myself as a feminist because of blogging, actually. In 2013 I put up a cute and cozy outfit post and talked about my favorite iced coffee and the book Lean In, which had just come out and was all anyone (present company included – great book!!!) could talk about. It was a nice, cute post but then I went and said something rather silly.

I wouldn’t necessarily call myself a feminist, but her book has raised a lot of points I really hadn’t thought of.

Oof. I kinda want to slap my self-from-three-years-ago. It was all very innocent – back then I wasn’t doing this full time and didn’t always think about everything I wrote… but fortunately (for me) a reader named Andrea swooped in with a little bit of (nice) criticism, commenting

I read your blog a lot and love your sense of style, but I am confused as to why you wouldn’t call yourself a feminist. A feminist is someone who believes that women should have rights equal to men. Why would you not want to align yourself with this? I am not trying to annoying, but I have seen this a lot lately with women our age and am wondering if I missed the negative connotation to this word…

God bless you, Andrea. Do you still read here? I hope you do. If you see this post, thank you. A hundred times over… your comment woke me up.

why I'm proud to call myself a feminist / cooper & ella dress, stuart weitzman highland boots | grace atwood, the stripe

I guess, in my head, a feminist was someone militant. Someone who bashed men or burned their bras. (Nothing wrong with any of that, but at the time that stereotype was someone I just didn’t identify with). How silly. How wrong of me. And that’s when I started calling myself a feminist. In a literal instant. Because of that one reader comment.

This has been on my mind all week. I wanted to tell you that story because as I read that article I found myself wondering if the author even knew what a feminist was? As mentioned above, the definition of a feminist is a person who supports the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities. Period. Being a feminist does not mean putting down men, it doesn’t mean you can’t be feminine or vulnerable… it doesn’t even mean being anti-chivalry. Being a feminist means being for equality. Plain and simple.

And that’s why I wrote this post. I don’t blog to tell you what to do, who to vote for, or anything like that. I share my experiences and my own personal stories. But if I can use my platform today to clear up the meaning of a word, then it’s all worth it. This is really important to me. Feminist is not a dirty word. I am one of the girliest girls I know. My favorite colors are blush pink and emerald green and I am happiest when I’m wearing a dress (preferably a sparkly one) and the tallest heels I can find. I like it when a man opens the door. I am terrified of mice and if I catch one will probably call a friend (male or female!) to throw it away. I am also a proud feminist. I believe that men and women should have equal rights and access to the same opportunities. That pay should be based upon merit, results and talent and not our gender (or our skin color for that matter but that’s another post for another day).

A feminist is someone who believes in those things. And I think we all should. If you believe those things, then you are a feminist… and you should be proud of that.

I’ll step off my soapbox now. I literally agonized over this post all week. I hope you agree. And if you don’t agree, let’s talk about it. I’m not here to push my ideas or values down anyone’s throat… but I do feel like this one little word is being misinterpreted, and today I wanted to use my little platform to talk about it.

why I'm proud to call myself a feminist // by malene birger trench, cooper & ella dress, stuart weitzman highland boots | grace atwood, the stripe

why I'm proud to call myself a feminist // by malene birger trench, cooper & ella dress, stuart weitzman highland boots | grace atwood, the stripe

why I'm proud to call myself a feminist // by malene birger trench, cooper & ella dress, stuart weitzman highland boots | grace atwood, the stripe

why I'm proud to call myself a feminist // by malene birger trench, cooper & ella dress, stuart weitzman highland boots | grace atwood, the stripe

why I'm proud to call myself a feminist // by malene birger trench, cooper & ella dress, stuart weitzman highland boots | grace atwood, the stripe

Outfit Details: by Malene Birger Trench  // Cooper & Ella Dress c/o (same dress in gray, similar color… on sale, here) // Stuart Weitzman Highland Boots // Chanel Purse // Celine Sunglasses // Ben-Amun x The Stripe Earrings

Look for Less:  Coat // Dress // Boots // Purse

Photography by Lydia Hudgens.

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Comments

  1. Rachel says 1.27.17

    Beautiful look! Love the coat!

    http://chicglamstyle.com

  2. Natali says 1.27.17

    You are a wonderful, admirable and inspiring woman! Love your blog, your way of thinking and your style. Thank you for being a true feminist, I am one and Im very proud of that too!
    Keep up the great work!!!

    https://lartoffashion.com

    • graceatwood says 1.27.17

      Thank you so much for the kind words, Natali – have a wonderful weekend! xx

  3. Sharon says 1.27.17

    Not sure what happened in the world over the last 20 years…. I am 43 and when I was in my 20s, most of us would consider ourselves feminist and would actually use the word and not cringe. We understood that it meant wanting equal rights across the genders. I feel like we have gone backwards ( in many ways) over the last few years and the US election ( I am Canadian) just cemented that feeling for me. I can just imagine how women who were around int he 70s must feel. I feel like the blogger who wrote that article is very, very young and honestly, very, very immature. She has not been in the work force where you realize quite quickly that men ( white men, let’s be honest) rule the world and….. hire and promote their own…. this is why there is a glass ceiling…. I could go on and on on what my experience has been over the last 20 years but I wanted to say that I am proud that you are taking a stand and calling yourself a feminist. You are in great company!

    • Eva says 1.27.17

      Sharon, how true are your words – I work in finance and am surrounded by “pale, male, and stale” types – rarely do they take care of anyone but their own – thankfully, in the past two years especially, the mid-level management women have rallied and are trying to make the change. The real problem lies in the fact that we meet and talk about the need for change, but no one knows how to make it happen. It’s really simple though, we need more women in senior management that would in turn help other women grow and have an impact – we need more women sponsors. The other problem that I’ve observed lies in the fact that a lot of times, women in positions of power acknowledge and agree with the fact that our industry is dominated by males but they just go along with it, fearful for their own behinds instead of sticking their necks out to disrupt the current hierarchy. Lastly, sometimes the women that get promoted to senior roles are not necessarily deserving but they get pulled up so that they can serve as an example of “diversity” in management. Very difficult to fight against the machine, but the change will happen eventually.

      • Sharon says 1.27.17

        Yes, Yes, Yes Eva!

      • graceatwood says 1.27.17

        I love this Eva… thank you! xx

    • graceatwood says 1.27.17

      Thank you Sharon – love this comment.

      I know. All those women who DID burn their bras back in the seventies so that we can have the rights we have today are probably just so disappointed in our younger generation. I agree with you – the author of the post was a college student. I did not want to reference her age so not to seem age-ist, but yes… it felt very immature and poorly researched to me. Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting – have a wonderful weekend!

  4. Maggie says 1.27.17

    I was so happy to see the title of this blog! I think you addressed the topic in a very approachable way and hopefully this can be a learning experience for those who view feminists as militant man haters.

    • graceatwood says 1.27.17

      Thank you Maggie – appreciate your support so much. Have a great weekend! xx

  5. Julia says 1.27.17

    Thank you for writing this! Everyone should identify as feminists and I love that you dedicated a post to this. I’ve been reading your blog for 5 years now and will definitely continue to support.

    • graceatwood says 1.27.17

      Thank you so much Julia! Wow, 5 years! Thanks for continuing to follow along. Xx

  6. janice stern says 1.27.17

    THANK YOU! I am so happy you changed your mind and I pray it will change someone else’s mind. This topic has been on my mind a lot lately and I have explained to my husband that men can be feminists, too. It means exactly what you said and nothing more! PLEASE keep posting important content like this. I am practically jumping and down with happiness reading the content you and Lemonstripes have been posting lately. And I have been tempted to tap my screen and say, “is anyone home?!” at the other blogs I’ve been reading who have been pretending like the past week hasn’t happened. Warning: going on tangent:I suspect that many of the other bloggers I read are happy about Trump’s election and in I would LOVE for them to post WHY. I’m genuinely curious. Also, I 100% align with your political views. Registered independent, split politics between friends, social issues trump (haha) all and lead me to often vote “liberal”, etc. Ok, enough I know I’ve gone on. Have a GREAT weekend and GIRL POWER!

    • graceatwood says 1.27.17

      Thank you Janice! Agreed. Men can (and should!!) be feminists.

      Try not to get too down on other bloggers who aren’t posting. I suspect they are thinking about it more than you know. I think I am a little sensitive to this as I had a reader get really upset with me on Snapchat for not addressing the march. I had been thinking about it all day, I just hadn’t gotten around to saying anything. I was a little traumatized after my election post to be honest… I lost over 500 followers on Instagram and got a lot of horrible emails after the fact.

      I’m curious too (with regard to those who voted for Trump). Not sure if you saw Emily Henderson’s post where she asked her readers why they voted him but I literally spent HOURS reading the comments. They were fascinating, and i felt like it helped to take me out of my liberal “bubble” and place my feet in the shoes of those who did vote for him. https://stylebyemilyhenderson.com/blog/why-did-you-vote-for-trump

      You have a great weekend too!!!

  7. Sarah says 1.27.17

    Thoughtful post- really enjoyed it!

    • graceatwood says 1.27.17

      So glad to hear that. Thanks, Sarah!

  8. Sarah says 1.27.17

    I love your honesty and I love reading your blog. Great post!

    • graceatwood says 1.27.17

      Thank you so much Sarah. xx

  9. Christina says 1.27.17

    While I do believe in equality between men and women, it hurts to see other woman bashing each other because their beliefs are different (don’t worry, your post is not bashing at all and is eloquently written. We need more of this!) I feel like I can’t go on Facebook anymore without someone posting how their beliefs are so much more valuable or important than mine. I even stood up for myself and my beliefs on a friends Facebook post and was literally torn apart by people I don’t even know and told I had no compassion for women.

    Those are the people who give feminists a bad name, the ones who come down on me and other conservatives because I am pro-life or because I believe in taking care of our country first. That is why I try to distance myself from individuals who call themselves feminists today, because it has become so extreme.

    There has to be a middle ground and I feel like I have been alienated from women’s rights lately.

    • graceatwood says 1.27.17

      It hurts me too. It’s hard to be on Facebook right now. This election has left us SO divided and I really hate that. I really believe that no matter what your view is, it is important to be respectful of others and not tear each other down. To listen to each other and learn from each other. There is a way to share your beliefs without tearing others down.

      I’m really sorry that you went through that. In speaking to a lot of my more conservative friends, I know many feel scared to express their views at all, for fear they’ll be called racist, misogynist, and so on and so forth. Thank you for taking the time to stop by and comment, I truly appreciate it so much. Have a good weekend.

  10. Brenna says 1.27.17

    AGREED. Also the fact that you shared that quote you posted three years ago is something that I admire. As I get older(I’m 27) I realize that admitting when your wrong is a true trait of character and I have great respect for people when they can admit when they are wrong, or that yes, they aren’t perfect and have made mistakes or said things they probably shouldn’t have. That is another life lesson in itself.

    • graceatwood says 1.27.17

      Aw thanks Brenna. I really think that the older you get, the more you realize how little you know. It can be hard to admit you are wrong but I think it’s also very liberating. We are all human, and it is important to be constantly learning!
      Thanks for taking the time to drop by and comment… have a great weekend! x

  11. Brittany says 1.27.17

    YES YES YES! i will come back and type more when my daughter (also a feminist!) isnt banging on my keyboard. but i am so glad to see people with influence take a stand. you’re awesome.

    xo, brittany
    http://www.notablob.com

    • graceatwood says 1.27.17

      Hahahaha… why do kids love the keyboard so much! Cats love it too… whenever I’m on my laptop at home Tyrion thinks it’s a good time to jump on my lap. Thanks for the kind words, Brittany… they are so appreciated!

  12. Carly says 1.27.17

    Love this, Grace! Thank you for sharing. I think it’s been really interesting in the last few months to see bloggers hesitantly share their beliefs on their own blogs and feel they need to apologize for it. This is your space! You should never need to feel guilty or apologize for writing something you feel strongly about, whether or not other people maybe have different beliefs. It always upsets me when people take offense or choose to unfollow because people speak their minds… on their own platform! So thank you for sharing, because I’m sure it’s not easy knowing you’ll likely face some backlash from a handful of readers, but I think the majority can relate to your honesty about the word feminist and think harder about our own relationship to it.

    • graceatwood says 1.27.17

      Thanks Carly, I really appreciate the encouragement!!
      I hope you have a great weekend! xx

  13. Hailey says 1.27.17

    Between this post and your post (and responses) about the election you have become my favourite blogger. THANK YOU for being real and talking about real issues in between the beauty/fashion posts (although I love those too).

    • graceatwood says 1.27.17

      That is so sweet of you to say, Hailey. Thank you for the kind words of encouragement… it truly means SO much! x

  14. Caitlin says 1.27.17

    This was an amazing post – thank you for writing about the hard things that people don’t always want to hear. You’re a great inspiration for me and I think all women in the way that you carry yourself and your business, and I love every time I see you share something about activism (the first one I remember seeing was Black Lives Matter). Keep up the great work.
    xo, Caitlin
    http://thesolcompass.com

    • graceatwood says 1.27.17

      Aw thank you Caitlin. It can be scary to share this stuff but I think it’s really important. Have a great weekend!

  15. Leah says 1.27.17

    Thanks for using this space to spread a thoughtful and important message!

    • graceatwood says 1.27.17

      Thank you Leah! xx

  16. Maureen says 1.27.17

    I never comment, but I wanted to say thank you for this post. I read a lot of blogs, and I respect the bloggers who have an opinion on important things going on in the world – not just opinions about earrings or wine. So thank you for speaking up, and thank you for being a feminist!

    • graceatwood says 1.27.17

      Thank you Maureen!
      Earrings and wine are two other great passions of mine… but I think sometimes it’s important to also talk about the more serious things going on in the world. 🙂 Appreciate the comment + words of encouragement!

  17. Jules says 1.27.17

    I’m so incredibly happy that you wrote this Grace, my heart is applauding you. I have had this conversation with women in my life lately and am trying so hard to get them to understand the true meaning behind being a feminist. I too had someone open my eyes to the concept- in an eerily similar way- so this really resonated with me. Way to use your platform sister! xo

    • graceatwood says 1.27.17

      Thank you so much Jules. I really appreciate the comment and words of encouragement! Have a fantastic weekend! xx

  18. Emily C says 1.27.17

    You go girl! If there is one thing we should have learned from this last election, it is that we can’t stay silent. Being a human being who supports equal rights should not be off-brand for anyone. Thank you for speaking out. I marched last weekend in my small city, then saw lots of social media backlash from women in my tiny hometown who apparently *don’t* feel like second-class citizens, and seem to have a religious objection to feminism. Yesterday at work I was in a meeting of male peers at the director-level and was asked if I’m the office manager (I’m on the same level – these guys have seen me in action, but apparently never noticed!) I’m sure my male peers never get mistaken for the secretary or assistant. One thing’s for sure – I am DONE not speaking up. Guess I’m still carrying a little of the march with me…hear me ROAR!

    • graceatwood says 1.27.17

      Aw thank you Emily!!!
      And thank you for sharing your story… how irritating to have been mistaken for the office manager, simply because of your gender! Ugh! Have a great weekend (and thanks for commenting!) xx

    • Sharon says 1.27.17

      This happens to women all the time. Also being asked how we are going to manage kids and a career while this has NEVER comes up for our husbands/partners. We really have not come as far as people think we have.

    • Eden says 1.27.17

      Same! I’m 34, graduated 12 years ago, and people still ask if I’m a student and/or call me “young lady.” (I know we’ve all experienced the “Why don’t you smile?” from strangers, too.)

      It shouldn’t be that hard for people to imagine a woman under 40 having a career!

      • graceatwood says 1.28.17

        Hahaha. Oof. I don’t mind being called Young Lady, actually. I think that happened when I turned 33. (I’m 35 now) It’s like, ohhh, you want to call me young? Sure! Kind of like last night at dinner – we ate at a fancy place and the waiter ID’d me. I have not been ID’d in years. It was all flattery on his part but made me feel good.

        That being said, WHY DO YOU SMILE makes me crazy. Or when I go on dates with guys who don’t understand how this blog could possibly be my career and earn money. But that is another rant for another day. 🙂

  19. Mary says 1.27.17

    I love this post, your entire blog, your style, and YOUR REALNESS! I am sooo happy I stumbled upon The Stripe last year. I lol a lot reading your blog– especially at the Charlotte ref from SATC! LOL! That is so true. It’s going around! I am totally on your wavelength for this, and I support you 100%! DO not agonize over posting something like this– you totally rock!!
    xxoo
    Mary

    • graceatwood says 1.27.17

      Hahahahaha thanks Mary. It is definitely going around. I was sick for an entire week. Truly awful.
      Thank you for the kind words and encouragement – I’m so happy you stumbled over here too!

      Have a great weekend! xoxo

  20. Julia says 1.27.17

    YAS MY KWEEN! Love this post and love you. Thank you for writing this and sharing it with the world.

    • graceatwood says 1.27.17

      Love you my dear. And loved YOUR post earlier this week! Sending big hugs from the plane! xoxo

  21. BSDH says 1.27.17

    As I said on the twitterverse this morning, I am so proud to be a friend of yours. While reading your story from a few years ago, I thought about how we would have described ourselves freshman year of high school. We were so little, innocent, and (sometimes) naive. I’m thinking we would have rebuffed the term “feminist” even though we always fought for equality for ourselves and our team. If the boys’ team got something, we got it too. No questions about it because we wouldn’t stand for that! I love watching from afar as you continue growing and sharing your thoughts on important topics (beauty and fashion included!). xoxo

    • graceatwood says 1.27.17

      Aw thank you so much Bobbi. That is a great point!!! When we were young I would have cringed at the word (but all the same, wanted all the same things the boys’ team got, haha!) It’s funny to reflect back.

  22. Brittney Orr says 1.27.17

    I needed to read this post today. I live in rural Oklahoma, where the women’s movement is discredited everyday. Everyday I see people in my Facebook feed (most of which are not only women, but people I consider to be friends, as well as coworkers and neighbors) write hurtful posts targeted at those who just want equality. I am afraid of speaking up in favor of equality because I’ve witnessed how those before me have been attacked. People I once considered close friends feel like strangers because of their viewpoints. This is such a tough subject and it gives me so much relief to read posts like this one. Thank you for being so brave! People can be so mean on the internet.

    • graceatwood says 1.27.17

      Aw Brittney I am so happy to hear that. I know you are scared (I am too) but I also think now is the time to let your voice be heard. We have to speak up (if only to educate others) or things will never change. I think there is a way to do so in a respectful manner. I’m really happy this brought you a bit of relief. Have a great weekend!

    • Lisa says 1.27.17

      Hi Brittney! I live in Oklahoma too and just wanted to let you know that you are not alone. It’s tough to be a feminist in Oklahoma these days!

    • JH says 1.31.17

      Brittney and Lisa, I’m “next door” in AR and I was really surprised (maybe shouldn’t have been) by the backlash to the women’s march. When someone I knew said she was all about girl power but wasn’t a feminist, I cited the same definition as this blog did and basically said “yes you are!” I don’t know how it offends people so much to be on the side of equality or to use that term! But if we all stick together, support each other, and keep moving forward, we’ll all get there together. Love to all!

  23. Sophie says 1.27.17

    This is beautiful.

    • graceatwood says 1.28.17

      THank you so much Sophie! x

  24. Loved this post! I’m a proud feminist, too, and wish people aren’t afraid to use the term. (I would also add that, to me at least, being a feminist means that women should be free to make choices about what they want to do. If their choice is to be a CEO, great! But if their choice is to stay at home with their kids and be a full-time mom, that’s cool, too. Just wanted to throw that out there because I think some women hear “feminist” and think we’re downplaying their life choices, but it couldn’t be further from the truth. Feminism means you do you!)

    • graceatwood says 1.28.17

      Yes, 1,000x over! Whether you want to stay at home, work, be the boss, whatever… you can make your own choices!!

  25. Emily says 1.27.17

    Kuddos for you for writing this post! I love that you are taking a stance, Grace. And I admire your eloquent writing while doing so. You’re so right, being a feminist is a GREAT thing, and I’m so happy you’re using your platform to bring more clarity to that word. Girl power!
    Isn’t That Charming.

    • graceatwood says 1.28.17

      Thank you Emily!! Girl power indeed! Hope you enjoy the weekend! xo

  26. Amanda says 1.27.17

    Thank you for contributing to one of the best, most honest weeks of content in my years of reading blogs. It has been wonderful to read through my daily rotation of blogs and read content of real substance (with a side of bravery at that!). I know fire hand how malicious the internet can be, specifically with regards to feminist issues.
    I am a young professional with an all female staff, and never have I said the words “As a feminist…” more than in the past week. I make a point to show my feminism proudly to my team in hopes that as life brings them issues over the years, they’ll feel comfortable bringing them to me as they’ll know me not only as their boss but as a woman who cares about women. At times I worry I appear weak or soft but then I remember that many of my strengths as a leader are because I’m a woman, not despite that I’m a woman.

    • graceatwood says 1.28.17

      Aw, thank you for the thoughtful comment Amanda!!! It has been a really hard week but I have loved reading some of the more thoughtful posts that have come out of this week!

      Have a great weekend. 🙂 xoxo

  27. Alaina says 1.27.17

    Hi Grace, I understand that you’re worried about ruffling feathers and alienating readers in such divisive times – very thoughtful and empathetic of you. But something I felt while reading this was – you do not have to apologize for what you choose to discuss on this blog! This is YOUR space, that YOU built, and nobody has the right to tell you to stick to ‘your lane’. Fashion and beauty blogs are a dime a dozen and your perspective is what makes this space unique. If you can’t speak your mind here, then where can you?

    Thank you for your honesty. It is so important to share stories like this, and I’m so glad to have you on the “team”!

    • graceatwood says 1.28.17

      Hi Alaina,
      Thank you so much for the kind words and encouragement. Can’t tell you how much I appreciate it!!! Have a wonderful weekend.
      xx
      Grace

  28. Brooke says 1.27.17

    Hello! This post is wonderful, and I appreciate the eloquence with which you wrote it. If I could take exception with just one thing, it would be this; “I guess, in my head, a feminist was someone militant. Someone who bashed men or burned their bras. (Nothing wrong with any of that, but at the time that stereotype was someone I just didn’t identify with).” In my opinion, it is wrong to bash men. And feminism gets no where when it does this. Men and women are wonderful creatures, equally. And since equality is what we are after, I think it’s important to point that out.
    I also wanted to address some of the ladies who have asked about those of us who voted for President Trump. I am one of those women. Admittedly, after certain revelations came out about his past remarks, I had a tough time for a few days. Truly. In the end, for me the greater issue of policy that I agree with won out. I truly believe that President Trump will do this country good, I believe he is a patriot who has made mistakes like any other person. His policy won me over, not his personality.

    • graceatwood says 1.28.17

      Oh my gosh yes – bashing men is NOT okay… not ever. Thanks for catching this. I meant the bra burning, really… more like, okay… “you do you, that’s great!”

      Thank you for sharing your views on Trump as well. I would imagine that it must be scary to do so. I mean, it is scary to share any sort of opinion. I really hope that you are right!!!

      I truly appreciate that you could come here today and voice your opinion (and disagreements for that matter) in a kind and respectful way. I received a few emails from readers today saying that they could no longer read my blog after reading this post, which made me really sad.

      • Brooke says 1.29.17

        I’m so sorry to hear that. I think as women, the most important thing we can do is support and love and cheer one another on. And I thank you for doing that every day, I love your blog!

        • graceatwood says 1.31.17

          Thanks Brooke. I completely agree. And thank you for the kind words about my blog!

  29. Tracy says 1.27.17

    Yes Yes Yes!

    Thank you for this post. I have shared it with so many friends and now will share on Twitter as well. This was so eloquently written and to the point. Seeing many women divided is gut-wrenching. I hope we can all come together!

    On another note, love the dress for the SAG awards and have an amazing weekend!

    • graceatwood says 1.28.17

      Thank you Tracy, I completely agree. This isn’t a partisan thing… it’s an issue that we all need to come together and stand up for ourselves on! x

  30. Maria Elena says 1.27.17

    Thank you so much for this post! I myself come from a really conservative hispanic family and it is not easy breaking out of that shell. I learned the hard way what it means to be a woman in the society we live in today and how much we have fought and need to keep fighting for equal rights.

    I also live in Puerto Rico, a US territory or Colony, which means not many people know that we are actually US citizens by birth. And I am also a latina woman, which makes it really difficult to feel safe in a government that is rejecting women AND hispanics.

    Again, thank you.
    With love,
    Maria Elena
    http://www.ambinityblog.com

    • graceatwood says 1.28.17

      Gosh my heart goes out to you Maria. I can imagine how unsafe you must feel. Sending a big hug your way! And thank you for sharing my post on twitter! xx

  31. Rose says 1.27.17

    THANK YOU, Grace. Thanks for using your platform for good; for doing more than ignoring what’s going on, or complaining about something, or pretending like if you say something you will alienate readers. Maybe you will, but if at the end of the day, you’re not standing up for what you inherently feel to be right and true, I (personally) feel like it’s that much harder to (metaphorically) sleep at night. We only get one life on this earth and we have to use that life to make our voices heard and fight for the rights of people who can’t do it themselves, and if losing a couple blog readers along the way is a side effect, so be it! I hope your post changed the views of at least one person reading it, or maybe made them think about things outside of their normal thought boundaries, or from the perspective of another person. Proud to say I know you because of posts like this!!

    • graceatwood says 1.28.17

      Thank you so much for the thoughtful comment, Rose! I really appreciate it. It’s just gotten so bad that I feel I can’t NOT say something! xx

  32. Sarah says 1.27.17

    I agree with everything you said 100% and have a ton of respect for you for for being brave enough to talk about politics and beliefs on your blog, knowing that you might stir up some controversy. And also being brave enough to call yourself out for your misconception of the word / movement in the past.

    Clearly, the word feminist needs some re-branding because the perception of it is so far off from what it actually means. And you’re doing something incredibly important by using your influence to help educate people on this. I can’t tell you how many discussions I’ve had with women and men on this exact topic and it baffles me every time – I can’t believe how hard it is for people to identify with the word feminist even when their values (supposedly) align with it to a t. It’s crazy.

    Thank you for this post, Grace!

    • Cy says 1.27.17

      I don’t mean to go “radical” here, but I’m sure this new, negative meaning of the word feminist was very carefully orchestrated. Just like ISIS ( or other radical groups)has nothing to to with with being a Muslim. It’s all about creating fear. Fear of association. It’s easier to dismiss people that way.

    • graceatwood says 1.28.17

      Yes to a rebrand!!! Thanks for commenting, Sarah!!! I truly appreciate it! x

      • Liv says 1.31.17

        Actually it was rebranded in the early 80 by the Republican Party

        “The feminist agenda is not about equal rights for woman. It is about a socialist, anti-family political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism, and become lesbians” – Pat Robinson

        “Woman’s lib is a total assault on the role of the American woman as a wife and mother and on the family as the basic unit of society” – Phyllis Schlafly

        “America’s decline as a world power is a direct result of the feminists’ movement for reproductive freedom and equal rights” – The Christian Voice

        • graceatwood says 2.1.17

          Oof. These quotes are terrifying. 🙁

  33. Emily says 1.27.17

    Would love a series from you featuring women and how they define feminism. Or what it means to them? Could be among other questions but might be fun!

    • graceatwood says 1.28.17

      That’s a really great idea! If I ever bring back Stripe Talk it could be fun to add that question to the mix. Thanks, Emily. I hope you are doing well! xx

  34. Stefa says 1.27.17

    Yes Grace! Really enjoying your posts, proud feminist here too.

    • graceatwood says 1.28.17

      Thank you Stefa!

  35. Diana says 1.27.17

    I loved your election post + love this post, and I love that you’re speaking your mind on something so important! It’s sad how politicized the term “feminist” gets. And in all honesty, it’s frustrating that the term even NEEDS to exist? Believing in equal rights for women should be the standard, something that is expected of everyone — not the outlier! Regardless, I too am proud to call myself a feminist and it’s always great to see that other people are too!

    • graceatwood says 1.28.17

      Thank you so much for your support, Diana. I completely agree. As human beings we should all treat each other equally and with respect… it is kind of sad the word has to exist when you think abou tit!

  36. Theodora says 1.27.17

    Thank you for this post. A lot of this has been on my mind, too, but I don’t want to fight with my VERY conservative parents, so I haven’t posted anything publicly to avoid backlash from them…while trying to figure out how I want to speak out/up/help. Also embarrassed to say it took me until my 30s, also, reading that book (which also has its flaws), to learn what feminism truly was.

    • graceatwood says 1.28.17

      I was in my thirties too if it makes you feel any better. The older you get the more you realize how little you know! 😉

  37. Sarah S. says 1.27.17

    If you’re a feminist, I’m a feminist. Thank you, Grace! I have felt very defensive and also confused this last week – in my mind, being a feminist has nothing to do with hating men or being un-feminine. I’m a girly girl who lives in the South and supports somewhat traditional gender roles. Men and women are different creatures, but although different, we should always be EQUAL. Please keep sharing your opinions- I love reading them!

    • Cy says 1.27.17

      Exactly ! Thank you

    • graceatwood says 1.28.17

      Yes, yes!! Though I am 35 and unmarried I consider myself more traditional as well. Gender roles and opinions aside, we are equal and should have the exact opportunities available to us. Thanks for taking the time to comment!

  38. Cy says 1.27.17

    I just read the twitter rant and wow. I’m 55, and I feel like many of my younger friends also don’t want to associate themselves with the word. The word feminist has become a “bad” thing. Regardless of your political affiliation anyone can be a feminist. I believe in a man being a gentleman and “old world” manners, but that doesn’t mean I’m not a feminist. A feminist is not someone who bashes men. There were many proud, male feminists marching. The author’s points are ridiculous. She has no idea what the word means. I’m here to tell you, the ” glass ceiling” still exists. There is absolutely no argument as why women shouldn’t have the same rights/pay as men. If anyone is in doubt, just look at any statistics regarding single women households. Thank you for bringing this subject to light. And thank you for printing the correct definition! We women are multi faceted. Love the coat, by the way

    • graceatwood says 1.28.17

      Agreed on all points!!! Thank you for getting involved in the conversation, Cy!! And have a lovely weekend! xoxo

  39. Jessica says 1.27.17

    Grace this was perfect and brilliant and only you could so eloquently communicate so many of the things I think many of us are feeling/thinking. Thank you so much for taking the time to write this. It means so much.

    • graceatwood says 1.28.17

      Thank you for commenting Jessica!! It means so much that I can share these things here and feel the support of my readers. 🙂 xx

  40. Hitha Palepu says 1.27.17

    YES YES YES. I actually remember that post, and I’m so glad you’re embracing the big F word.
    Stay on your soapbox. Keep writing posts like these.
    There is a place for intelligent discourse among outfits, DIYs, and cocktail recipes. And I, for one, am thrilled to read your thoughts on these topics.

    • graceatwood says 1.28.17

      Haha yes!! I remember talking to you about the book too… 🙂 Happy you liked the post my friend, means so much! x

  41. Lisa says 1.27.17

    Grace! Love that you can use your platform to share what is important to you in an open way. And it’s important to note that people’s idea of what is important can be very, very different. But anyway – one of my goals this year is to be more active in my community AND be more aware of what is going on in our world. I’m making it a point to read all kinds of news from all sides. I seriously find myself hanging on to your every word, and wanted to throw an idea out… Maybe you could incorporate a series or chat around these topics… So we can pretend that we’re having these conversations with you… with a glass of wine… at midnight 🙂

    Ha ha! But really, thank you for being such an inspiration! Hope the rest of the month is a great one for you!

    Lisa

    • graceatwood says 1.28.17

      THank you so much Lisa!!! Truly appreciate the kind words. I love the idea of a chat. Unsure though as I a better at writing than speaking!!! 🙂 xx

  42. Caitlin says 1.27.17

    This is such a good post on a very timely topic! It’s one of my pet peeves when people give “feminist” a negative connotation or assume that being girly means you can’t also be a smart, proud feminist. (Or that being a man, means you can’t be a feminist!) True story: my boyfriend marched last weekend while I was getting ready for a wedding we had that night. I was super proud picking him up from the train station to head to the wedding knowing that he had represented us both at such an important event!

    • graceatwood says 1.28.17

      I completely agree, Caitlin! Like I said.. I am such a girly girl but also a proud feminist (and a smart one, I hope!) I LOVE that your bf marched! Sounds like you have a keeper! xx

  43. Haley says 1.27.17

    Thanks Grace! I am also a proud feminist and am sick of people having issues with that term. Loved your thoughts!

    • graceatwood says 1.28.17

      Thanks Haley 🙂 have a great weekend.

  44. Eden says 1.27.17

    This post (and everyone’s comments) made my Friday! The news each day can be dispiriting, but I also try to remember that a woman won the popular vote by nearly 3 million votes. We have momentum, and posts & discussions like these are so valuable in keeping it. Thank you, Grace.

    • graceatwood says 1.28.17

      Thank you so much for commenting and telling me that Eden!!! I really appreciate it. Hope you have a good weekend.

  45. JP says 1.27.17

    Wow… this was such a great post. Thank you for being so honest and not being afraid. I don’t understand the well-followed bloggers, who avoid talking about what’s going on. I assume they are afraid of offending some of their followers. While talking about #ootd and beach waves is all fun and good, let’s not act like we are living in a bubble of just fun stuff. Thank you again for this thoughtful post.

    • graceatwood says 1.28.17

      I think it can be very scary as at the end of the day, our blogs are our businesses and you never want to isolate your readers or offend anyone. That being said, right now, things have gotten so terrible that I feel uncomfortable NOT saying something!! Thanks for commenting – have a great weekend!

  46. Dana says 1.27.17

    Long time reader/follower, but this is my first comment ever – because this post was wonderful. Thank you so much for your bravery and honesty!

    • graceatwood says 1.28.17

      Thank you so much for reading Dana (and for taking a minute to comment) – it truly means so much!! xx

  47. Alison says 1.27.17

    Amen! I am appalled at how many women are quick to distance themselves from the word just because they (or other people) simply don’t know what it really means. The best way to combat that is to be loud and proud with our beliefs and help remove whatever weird stigma has become associated with feminism.

    • graceatwood says 1.28.17

      YES! Cheers to being loud and proud!! xoxo

  48. Jean says 1.27.17

    Grace, What a beautiful thoughtful and brave post. Am so proud to be your aunt! ❤

    • graceatwood says 1.28.17

      Aw thanks Jean! Love you! xoxoxo

  49. Kim says 1.28.17

    I’m glad you shared the post, as it hadn’t appeared in my social media universe, and good on you for sharing your opinion and going far in clearing up the inaccuracies it represented about what feminism actually is.

    • graceatwood says 1.28.17

      Thanks Kim. That post is insane… it’s scary to see articles like that a) being written and then b) getting shared so much! Have a great weekend!!

  50. I love your way of thinking. Thank you for sharing your words – you are truly beautiful!

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog
    http://charmainenyw.com

    • graceatwood says 1.28.17

      Aw thank you Charmaine, so sweet of you to say!! xx

  51. Carrie says 1.28.17

    Yes, Grace, yes. *highfive

    • graceatwood says 1.28.17

      Thank you Carrie 🙂 xx

  52. Nicole says 1.28.17

    Grace- I loved this post. Similarly to your “embarrassing” moment with the reader comment, one of my high school English teachers had everyone in the class raise their hands if they considered themselves a feminist. I think two or three hesitant people raised their hands. Then, she asked anyone to raise their hands if they thought employees should receive equal rights/ pay for the same work, and miraculously everyone raised their hands. She then proceeded to tell us that we were, in fact, all feminists. Her greater point was teaching us how to craft an argument by definition (a composition & rhetoric class), but that moment stuck with me. Amazing post! Have a great weekend 🙂 Nicole

    • graceatwood says 1.28.17

      Ahhhhhh thank you so much for sharing your “embarrassing story!” I think it’s so important to be able to admit when you were wrong, made a mistake, etc. And sharing that helps other people be comfortable sharing their stories! It sounds like your English teacher was/is an amazing woman! Have a great weekend, Nicole! xx

  53. Maggie says 1.28.17

    Grace, this post was wonderfully written and I really loved it! Such a great breakdown of what the word means and how the connotation around it has become very misconstrued. Have a wonderful weekend and thank you for sharing your thoughts on this topic!!

    • graceatwood says 1.28.17

      Thank you so much Maggie! I really appreciate it. It’s time we cleared up the meaning behind this word!
      I hope you have a wonderful weekend. xx

  54. Danielle says 1.28.17

    Thank you for posting this! I completely feel the same and tbh, I had never read your blog before but saw a comment on lemonstripes and decided to come over to read. I’ve decided to support others who use their voice on this topic. I’m adding you to my blog list and look forward to hearing more 🙂

    • graceatwood says 1.28.17

      Aw, I am so glad you found me via Julia’s blog!!! She is a very good friend of mine and her blog is one of my absolute favorites. Really appreciate that you came over – and commented!! Have a great weekend, Danielle! xx

  55. Margaret says 1.28.17

    Thanks for taking a risk and posting this!

    • graceatwood says 1.29.17

      You are welcome 🙂 Thanks for your support!

  56. Jocelyn says 1.28.17

    YES! I loved reading this. I really connect with your genuine curiosity as to why young women feel that identifying as a feminist is such a bad thing. What kills me is that these women don’t know or appreciate that their lives are what they are because of the efforts of the women (and men)—the feminists!—who came before us. I only wish we could help these women see that our work won’t be over until all men and women, of all races and ethnicities, are truly equal. Thank you for talking about this! Hopefully it will encourage greater dialogue on this crucial topic.

    • graceatwood says 1.29.17

      Thank you so much Jocelyn and I agree so much with you. We owe SO much to the radical women (the ones who did burn their bras!!!) Without them our lives would be so very different. 🙂

  57. Talya says 1.28.17

    Thank you for this beautiful articulation of some important basics!

    • graceatwood says 1.29.17

      Thanks Talya 🙂 xx

  58. Mollye says 1.28.17

    Grace, I really enjoy your blog and love that you shared your thoughts on feminism. Great post!

    • graceatwood says 1.29.17

      Thank you so much MOllye!

  59. Julie says 1.29.17

    Grace, thank you for wanting to write about being a feminist on your blog. I have always thought you were genuine and true to your self, and I think this continues to confirm that! 🙂

    • graceatwood says 1.31.17

      Thank you so much for the encouragement, Julie! xx

  60. Inga says 1.31.17

    Hi Grace,

    I am another one of those silent readers who admires and follows you for the last 4years, yet never comments. But this post is so spot on. Another lady who brilliantly puts it into perspective is a British journalist and author Caitlin Moran:

    ‘So here is the quick way of working out if you are a feminist. A – do you have a vagina? And B – do you want to be in charge of it? If you said yes to both, then congratulations. You’re a feminist, because we need to reclaim the word feminism. We need to reclaim the word feminism real bad.

    When statistics come in saying that only 29 percent of American women would describe themselves as feminist, and only 42 percent of British women, I used to think, what do you think feminism is, ladies? What part of liberation for women is not for you? Is it the freedom to vote, the right not to be owned by the man that you marry, the campaign for equal pay, “Vogue” by Madonna, jeans? Did all that stuff just get on your nerves, or were you just drunk at the time of survey?’

    Thank you for your posts that find the right balance between important issues and beautiful, fun things!
    Inga

    • graceatwood says 1.31.17

      Hi Inga,
      Thank you so much for the thoughtful comment – I truly appreciate it – and love this quote. 🙂
      Have a great week! xx

  61. Meghan says 2.1.17

    Hi Grace,
    Thanks for posting; I know it took guts! I feel somewhat paralyzed by negativity in my interpersonal relationships with respect to politics and specifically feminism currently, so I can’t even imagine what that pressure must be like under a microscope as a blogger. I really admire your willingness to admit when you’ve made a mistake and to use your experience to try to help others avoid the same error.

    However: I would like to push back gently on one statement: “or our skin color for that matter but that’s another post for another day.” One important aspect of feminism is that it is intersectional–you’re not really talking about equal rights for women if you’re only talking about white/cis/straight/middle class/able-bodied/fill-in-the-blank women. I know it’s a big topic, but it sort of speaks to your privilege that you can decide to focus on the topic of skin color and how it affects women when it’s convenient to you.

    Note that I say this as a fellow white woman who also struggles with this and I definitely do not have all of the answers here. I don’t say this to be harsh or devisive, but rather to try to start a broader discussion about feminism. I respect your opinion and I’d very much look forward to your thoughts about this.

    Have a great day,
    Meghan

    • graceatwood says 2.1.17

      Hi Meghan,

      You sure are very right in that everything I write so often feels as though it is under a microscope. It isn’t easy. And comments like this are, whether you choose to agree with me, a bit harsh. I certainly don’t have all the answers, nor do I pretend to. I am human, and I am trying my best to talk about the things that I think are important, as not a lot of people in this space are doing that right now.

      My post is most certainly NOT meant to come across as intersectional. When I speak about feminism, I am speaking about equal rights for ALL women. ALL women should have access to the same opportunities as men, period – regardless of “fill-in-the-blank” thing.

      Truly: All that I meant by that statement is that race could be an entirely different blog post, for an entirely different day. I can not address every single issue in one blog post. But I certainly was NOT speaking on behalf of JUST (to use your words, “white/cis/straight/middle class/able-bodied/fill-in-the-blank women.” I’m speaking unequivocally on behalf of all women.

      I’m truly sorry that it came across as only choosing to focus on skin color when “convenient to me,” all I meant by that was that race relations are an entirely different (and just as important) topic. It feels like you are nit-picking a bit. That parentheses only meant that it was a topic I could speak to even more but was choosing not to as there is SO much more to say there.

      Hope that clarifies.
      best,
      Grace

      • Meghan says 2.1.17

        Hi Grace,
        Thanks for responding. These are tough times and I think it’s really important to keep a dialogue going when people differ in opinion. It’s a fair statement that this is a massive topic and that perhaps I was nit-picking and/or my opinion could have been phrased more gently.

        That being said, it is NOT a fair or accurate statement that race is an “entirely different” issue. It stood out to me that you specifically isolated race as a ‘separate’ topic when in fact women’s issues and race issues are obviously intertwined. Just wanted to give you some food for thought (especially in a post where you specifically note that a reader broadened your take on a previously-held stance).

        Like I said previously, I respect your opinion and have enjoyed these types of post. I’d love to read a post on race if you choose to tackle that subject.

        Thanks,
        Meghan

  62. Kristen says 2.2.17

    I really appreciate that you are writing posts with substance to them lately rather just fun beauty and shopping posts. So much has happened in the world lately and I think you are doing a good job of bringing issues up without putting other groups down.

    • graceatwood says 2.2.17

      Thank you so much Kristen – really appreciate your feedback! x