A Feminist Like Me

From Dictionary.com:

Fem*i*nist (adjective): advocating, social, political, legal, and economic rights for women equal to those of men.

Sometimes words like “feminist” have a negative connotation. I know it does for me. I can’t tell you how often I use the phrase, “I’m no bra-burning feminist…” It indicates that I do not associate myself with one of those “crazy,” “wild,” “woman supremacists.” And I don’t.

Ever since I watched the documentary Miss Representation a few weeks ago, the idea of feminism and women’s rights has been weighing heavily on my brain. Initially the film made me feel like I needed to do more. I sat on the couch feeling like by not being one of the aforementioned bra-burners I was doing my gender a disservice. I was all fired up.

But then my inner sensibility got the better of me (thank God). I started thinking about my life and the activities and organizations I’m involved with. I went to journalism school (a field the documentary said was male-dominated…I never felt that way, but I probably wasn’t paying attention), I am now an editor at an aviation magazine (the aviation industry is male-dominated). I am a pilot–one of only about 40,000 women in the United States who can say that.

Occasionally I have to press for equality or respect in my profession, but more often than not the men are understanding, supportive, and respectful. Oddly enough, some of my biggest battles for respect in my field have been with other women. (I write most of it off to her own lack of confidence.)

I don’t burn bras (does anyone anymore? really?), but I do set a positive example. I am involved in my local and national Women in Aviation chapter. The organization does a fantastic job of mentoring the next generation and positively supporting the current generation while honoring the generation that came before us. I strive to be the best I can possibly be at my job and work to be a confident, competent, and safe pilot.

What does that do to advance the cause of women? It sets a good example for the next generation. An example that says, “Hey, if I’m good at what I do–whatever that may be–I’ll get the respect I deserve.” Sure, there’s misogyny to be encountered along the way, but that’s where you just have to have a thick skin, keep your chin up, and keep plugging along. Use your anger to fuel the fire that gives you energy to prove them wrong.

This is a complicated topic–and no doubt one some people feel incredibly passionate about. I’m not out to judge what kind of feminism is best, I’m just saying there’s more ways than “radical” to make a positive difference for the advancement of equality. Since I watched that documentary I’ve been thinking about this topic a lot, so this is not likely to be my last blog post on the subject. I look forward to reading your insightful comments and continuing the discussion on this!

 

Big Girl Pants

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I did a lot of stuff I didn’t want to today.

I finally went to the hospital to get my blood drawn for a cholesterol check. I’m young. I’m fairly healthy. Well, I have been. But I don’t want needles in my veins. I don’t like blood. I just didn’t want to do it (pout), so I put it off. Now it’s done though, and it didn’t hurt much, and it took all of 10 minutes out of my day. …Soon my doctor will call and tell me my blood is half butter and I need to do something about it. But until then…😉

I also made a bunch of phone calls for my Pampered Chef business. I don’t know why I hate phone calls. All of the people I needed to check in with were people I had met before. And they were nice. For some reason I get all worked up about making calls though and then I put it off until it’s too late. Not today. Today I pulled up my list and called with confidence. Maybe a little too much confidence (I opened up a show on my computer…you know, to take all the orders people were going to throw at me. And I opened up my calendar so I could quickly book dates with everyone who wanted to host a party.). I left 6 messages and talked to 2 real live people. Everyone was nice. What was I so worried about?

On top of all of that “scary” stuff I dealt with I also managed to bake two loaves of bread and a cake, and make a darn good venison stroganoff dinner. Everything was hyper-from scratch too… the bread was more sourdough from my yeast beast, the cake was not from a mix (cocoa powder and flour, yo!), and the stroganoff was from scratch from a deer my husband or I shot last fall. With bullets he reloaded himself, no less. It’s so little house on the prairie. I love it!

Hope you can take some time to take pleasure in some of your little accomplishments today. They’re worth noting!

Sourdough Starter

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I keep my starter in a 2 quart glass batter bowl with lid. It's more than I need probably, but I like knowing I'll always have enough!

This past spring I got on the Amish Friendship Bread bandwagon and filled my house with the pleasing aromas of cinnamon, spice, and everything nice. Which was great. Really. The unfortunate part about it was all that delicious bread. My husband and I aren’t exactly twigs, plus having all that sugar in the house wasn’t doing him any favors as he tried to manage his diabetes. But it got me thinking… isn’t there something like this—that was simple enough, and helped me get my baking fix—that might actually fill a practical nutritional need? Bonus points if it also lowered our grocery budget.

And then I remembered sourdough! I loooooove a good piece of sourdough bread, and a little online research proved that it wasn’t expensive or complicated. So one night I put a little yeast, water, flour and honey together in a bowl, shut off the lights, and let it do its thing. Today my Pampered Chef Classic Batter Bowl has taken up permanent residence in my fridge as the home to my little yeast beast.

I’ll include links below to the sources I’m referring to most, but the basics are you regularly feed the yeast and let it ferment and do whatever else yeast does. (I’m highly into the science of this, if you can’t tell.) Then, when you’re ready to bake, you scoop out a cup of starter (aka yeast beast) and follow the recipe of your choosing. This weekend I made some AMAZING bread. Last weekend I tried pizza crust and breadsticks. I feel like so many new doors have been opened as far as my kitchen creativity is concerned, and I can’t wait to explore them all.

Yes, baking bread and all that kind of stuff does take some pre-planning and patience, but the ingredients are cheap. The rewards are nutritious and useful (pizza crust, sandwich bread, rolls, breadsticks), and very gratifying. Have you ever seen the way people swoon over bread? Your ego will rise faster than the yeast!

I encourage you to give it a try. Learn the ways of the yeast beast, bake up a little something from scratch, and see if you don’t feel like a winner in the end.

The starter recipe I followed

The delicious bread recipe I experimented with today

The pizza crust my family loves

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