f word feature feminism
Society & Culture, Practice & Voice

The F Word: An Introduction

One question I have for all of our readers, is what was your first memory of the F word?
Now, I’m not talking about the four-letter F word, I’m talking about the “ism” with eight letters.
Was your first introduction to feminism a positive one or did it have connotations of negativity?

I remember buying my first BUST Magazine from the only place in my small town I could get any type of “alternative” media, Hastings. Tucked on the bottom half of the magazine rack, in the far back row, next to Advocate, was BUST. I don’t remember how old I was, but I was old enough to drive and I felt incredibly alone in the middle of America.

bust feminism coverOn the cover, Gloria Steinem in all her glory, with “The F Word” bedazzled on her shirt, standing strong in her Wonder Woman pose.

I bought the magazine with my head down and stuffed it into a bag. With shame and secrecy, I read every word of that magazine, read every ad, and fell in love with Kathleen Hanna. Through that issue, I discovered one of my all-time favorite bands, Le Tigre which led to my first crush on a “girl with a mustache.” (Fast forward: Le Tigre performed at Cains, still one of my favorite shows of all time. Le Tigre, and my crush, JD Samson, marched along side me in the NYC Dyke March at Pride, early 2000s. #Swoon)

My BUST magazine stayed hidden in my room.

I was so scared that someone would find out I was interested in this thing called Feminism. Looking back, I was probably more afraid of being called a feminist, than I was being outed as gay. I toiled with the liberation I felt stirring inside, the little feminist spark that would come to full blaze.

I’m sharing this with you, dear reader, as a place to start. We are creating a space for others to share their stories and perspectives, not only about feminism, but about what it’s like to move through the world as woman and girl. The idea to create this space started with another feminist’s question.

Judy Jarvis, a member of the All Souls Content Creation team, asked in one of our brainstorming meetings, “What has the feminist movement done? With all the work of feminism in my generation, what does it really mean for women today?”

The F Word: Bigger than all of us

Mankiller, Molly, me, Steinem b-w
Judy Jarvis with her daughter Molly, Gloria Steinem, and Wilma Mankiller.

As Judy explored answering these questions in her own blog post, with the help of contributor Sallie Godwin and others, the answer was clear—Feminism is so much bigger than one woman’s story.

On beyondbelief.online, we are devoting a year-long series in 2019: The F Word: Perspectives on Feminism in the Year of the Woman. We took this idea to the newly forming Women of All Souls group, to church leadership, and to the Content Creation team. With support and enthusiasm, we focused in on the intention of the project.

Setting the Intersectional Intention

The intention is to talk about issues women and girls face, to hear women’s voices and ideas, to get to know each other through individual and collective experiences and storytelling, to hear from men and their roles in supporting women, and to create a space for women to support each other. The series is intended to be inclusive, honest, and intersectional. We will hear from women from all walks, starting with the culmination of what became of Judy and Sallie’s initial endeavor next month. And, we want to hear from you too.

Our goal is to post one story a month from a different voice and perspective. We want to encourage dialogue, explore questions that arise, invite others in to share their perspectives. Read the first post from Sallie Godwin, Feminism & Me: Bartlesville Women Stand Strong.

Tell us your story. Even if you’re not a writer, you have a story to tell.

Submit the idea for your blog by emailing bjames@allsoulschurch.org. A short description or outline is fine. Our editorial team will work with you on the timeline and details. If you’re interested in being interviewed instead of writing, that  can be arranged too. <3

*NOTE, all ideas for submissions will be considered for publishing. Selected ideas will be added to an editorial calendar and the submitter will work with the editorial team to assist with guidelines, proofing, and graphics/photography.

Want to be in community with other women at All Souls? A new Women’s Group is now forming.

The Women’s Group is for all women, of all ages, races, sexual orientations. As with our multicultural congregation, women in our church come from a multitude of diverse backgrounds. We all have had different experiences and are in varying stages of life. The Women’s Group seeks to engage each other in women’s issues, interests, creative expressions, social justice passions, hobbies, and share in the ups and downs we all experience.
The group hopes to grow friendships, mentor relationships, ourselves, and our church through shared meals, guest speakers, small group interests, and occasional retreats.

To learn more about the Woman’s Group and connect, email Quanah Scoggins.

women's marchBonita James is the Director of Communications for All Souls and editor of beyondbelief.online. She is passionate about telling the stories of the church through the people who make it all happen. A recent transplant to Tulsa from OKC, she lives with her wife and three furbabies. The one-time closeted feminist can now be found wearing a feminist cape every chance she gets.


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    […] All Souls, we are devoting a year-long series in 2019: The F Word:Perspectives on Feminism in the Year of the Woman. The intention is to talk about issues women and […]

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