My Mom Says She’s Not A “Feminist.” Her Actions Tell A Different Story

by Nina Roehl
Also Featured on KCBS
03.18.18
03.18.18

My mom and grandma are the two strongest women I know. So why do they reject the term “feminist”?

My mom moved to the U.S. from Spain in search of new opportunities. She hasn’t stopped working since. At one point, she was raising me and my brother, working two jobs, and getting a master’s degree. I’m proud that my mom pursued her own goals while raising me.

She’s following in the footsteps of my grandma, who moved to the Philippines when she was 17. My grandma had eight children and raised them almost on her own. Now, she’s taking care of us, her grandchildren.

My mom and grandma are my primary examples of fearless, hardworking women. So why won’t they call themselves feminists? It’s like they have a different definition of the word. They see a feminist as a pushy, extremist, or a political martyr. But I see feminism as small actions that define your everyday life, including raising children and working.  

I want my grandmother and my mom to share my definition of feminism. But if they don’t embrace the term, I’m alright with it. Because no matter what, they are still my strong female role models.

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