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When I was a senior in high school something happened one day that I never forgot In my US History class the teacher asked us to raise our hands if we considered ourselves feminist My hand shot up without hesitation but when I looked around I immediately felt ostracized Nobody else raised their hands and I couldnt understand why Didnt they feel that women should have every right that men have Didnt they believe women and men were equal and therefore changes in our culture were necessary Didnt they know that we as a society still had a long way to go And then it became apparent to me in that moment that perhaps it wasnt the ideology at least I would hope not but the word feminist that people were hesitant about Before I went to the feminism conference on the weekend of April 8-9 2005 I felt strongly that I was a feminist but had trouble educating other people about what it means to be a feminist The word feminist has become almost a dirty word to so many people who in my opinion are ignorant to its meaning For them the f word as many feminists will joke conjures up many stereotypical images of bra-burning man hating women I guess and the significance of what feminism is about gets lost on them The conference held most its significance for me by showing how feminism relates to the experiences of such a wide range of women which just proves once again to me that it isnt just about a certain type of woman but about all of us The conference was kicked off by listening to the keynote speaker Inga Muscio When she spoke about Shirley Chisholm the African-American women who was candidate for the Democratic Presidential Nomination it honestly made me a bit sad to sit and think of how little things as changed like a dream lost It was
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