To The Women Who Inspire Me

To The Women Who Inspire Me

I wouldn't be the person I am without you.

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I've been inspired by some pretty incredible women in my life. Whether it be through personal relationships or history, all of these women have impacted my life in some shape or form. They've helped me realize that I am an independent and strong woman that is capable of achieving anything.

Here's to the women who have helped me to become the woman I am today.

1. To my mother

You're (quite literally) the reason I'm here today. You've consoled me through the worst times of my life and rejoiced with me through the best. You've changed my life and so many others with your quick wit, humor and wisdom. Thank you for answering the phone at the drop of a hat whenever I need you. There are not enough words to describe how blessed I am to be your daughter.

2. To my grandma

You've shown me the true definition of strength throughout my nineteen years of being your granddaughter. You've raised eight incredible children and have loved your twenty-two grandchildren with your whole heart. Your kindness, faithfulness to the Lord and spit-fire attitude have impacted my life in more ways than one.

3. To my small group

I am not exaggerating when I say that you three (plus a few more) have changed my life. Our discussions about scripture and Jesus' love became my favorite part of the week. At times where I didn't feel any of it, you guys have given me joy, peace and wisdom.

4. To Daisy Patton

You're one of the most self-less, faithful and caring people I've ever met. You've been there for me when my life came crashing down and when I didn't know what to do. You've consoled me with your wisdom and faithfulness to the Lord. We can spend months without seeing each other and it's like we were never separated. Sometimes I wonder how I got so lucky to be your friend, Daisy Patton

5. To Catherine Hoffman

I remember the first time I met you. When we finally got a chance to talk, it was like I was talking to an old friend. Your infectious smile, personality and grace was exactly what I needed at that time in my life. Now, a year later as we go to the same school, you still make me smile every time I see you. The love you have for our God, your family and friends, and just about everything else inspires me daily.

6. To my pledge family

Both of you have inspired to me be kind, driven and passionate in whatever I do. I know both of you will go on after college and achieve incredible things. Thank you both for being you.

7. To my sorority sisters

As cliche as this sounds, I never thought I'd have 79 extra sisters that are there for me each and everyday. We are all so diverse but united under the fantastic sisterhood of Phi Mu. You ladies inspire me to become a better person in all aspects of my life, and I'll love you all forever.

8. To Madelyn Muncy

I feel like I sound like a broken record whenever I say that you inspire me, but Maddie it's SO true. Everything that you've gone through and overcame is something that still blows me away. You've impacted and changed so many people with your strength and vulnerability to share your story. I hope everyone you meet is just as impressed by you as I am,

9. To Eleanor Roosevelt

You were your husbands eyes and ears during his presidential terms and were an advocate for not just women's rights but also the rights of African-Americans. You even remained politically active after your husband was in office (honestly what couldn't you do?). You were a tried and true activist for all people. I remember being a junior in highschool and doing a report about you. I really didn't know what I was getting myself into when I started learning about you. I didn't know that you'd become the first woman to inspire me to chase my dreams and become whoever I wanted to be.

10. To Betty Friedan

You've changed so many peoples lives including mine by your book, The Feminist Mystique. You've revolutionized the word 'feminist' and heck, you even sparked a new wave of feminism. You changed the lives of ordinary housewives and inspired them to become doctors and lawyers. I wish you could see the women that are continuously inspired by you so many years after your book published (including myself).

11. To Ruth Bader Ginsburg

You were a true feminist because you fought all human rights. When men were telling you no you stood in their face and said yes. Your can-do attitude and determination are the reason we have discrimination laws today. Thank you for changing not just my life, but also the lives of so many others, RBG.

12. To the Women of Knock Down the House

I don't think I've cried more than I did while watching your documentary. AOC, you wholeheartedly inspired me to be and do more when it comes to politics. As you said 'it's not about left and right, it's about up and down'. You've truly encouraged me to become active when it comes to political and social issues. I can't wait to tell my daughters about this film and how it that changed my life.

13. To the women not mentioned above

Whether it be the girl that I see studying in the library 24/7 or the girl bosses making their way up the corporate ladder. It could be the friends, family, classmates and even strangers that have empowered me to be the best version of myself. I have noticed every one those little affirmations and words of strength.


To all of the women I have met in my life, thank you for being an unspoken inspiration.

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Just For Clarification, It Is Possible To Be BOTH A Christian Woman And A Feminist

A clarification of God's intention for men, women, and their value.

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I read an article recently about a young Christian woman who said that she didn't believe that God intended women to be equals. Here was the Title, "I'm A Christian Girl, And I'm Not A Feminist, Because God Did Not Intend For Women To Be Equals."

I read the article, mostly because the title was a little unsettling, and understood where she was coming from. It held a great intention and standing in Scripture coupled with a passionate affection for Jesus, which I adore. However, the language and word choice could be used to reinforce the notion that Christians and God view women as lesser than men.

And so, I wanted to clarify a few things to ensure clarity. The idea that God views women as less valuable than men is truly and wholeheartedly not true. There is so much significance, value, intention, meaning, and need for women. And men, equally are as vital, so valuable, full of meaning, and so uniformly needed. And to put both of them on a scale to weigh out our equality in significance and value almost feels... completely unnecessary and out of place. Both men and women hold an equal degree of worth as persons, as they have both been made in God's image and are heirs together of eternal life.

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. Genesis 1: 27
There is neither Jew nor Greek, thee is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. Galatians 3:38

We cannot reproduce one without the other. We depend on each other for the very carrying on of our beings. And we depend on each other in a lot of other contexts too.

I'd like to open this up to a little bit more of a dialogue because I think there's some disconnect between how feminism and equality are understood and defined as in today's context. So just to be clear on exactly what we're talking about, here are some definitions from dictionary.com of the key terms that this topic revolves around:

The definition of equal: being the same in quantity, size, degree, or value.

The definition of equality: the state of being equal, especially in status, rights, and opportunities.

The definition of feminism: the advocacy of women's rights on the basis of the equality of the sexes.

The definition of a feminist: A person who supports feminism.

Just a quick disclaimer, people have adopted various definitions of these terms in today's culture. For my purposes, I will be referring to the definitions listed above.

So, essentially a feminist is someone who supports the state of equality in status, rights, and opportunities relative to men. Under that definition I, a Christian woman, would define myself as a feminist. In a general view, I support and encourage the state of being provided the same opportunities, rights, and status as a woman, and essentially as a human being.

With that being said, however, I also believe that men and women are different, and have been given roles within the family setting to fit those differences. Here is one passage that describes a woman's particular role in a marriage.

"Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands." Ephesians 5: 22-24

I think the word submit immediately scares us as women. It scares me a bit, to be 100% honest. But after being married and realizing that leadership is so important, and us working as a team together is hugely vital to our marriage, the roots of this message are being realized and understood further in my own life and as a wife.

The type of submission described here is not the obedience children owe to their parents. Nor is it stating that all women should submit to all men. This submission is in a specific marital context for the work of a harmonious and healthy marriage. It goes on to command the husband to love his wife as Christ loved the Church. The husband is to be a leader that loves, cherishes, listens to, and protects his wife. We have both been given a responsibility and a role to ensure that our marriage is working toward one common goal. That we are on the same page because ultimately we are on the same team.

So although men have been granted a role of leadership within a marriage, this should in no means imply that we are not equal to them. Equal in quantity, quality, degree, or value. There are millions of angles and coatings to this subject, so please forgive me for the gaps that I haven't addressed in this small fragment of writing.

I feel like there are millions of layers to how God sees us as people, too. He has created us, putting pieces of Himself of infinite worth and value into our the heart of hearts knitted in each of us, both male and female.

I hope you know that we are valuable.

You are valuable.

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5 Ways To Be A Better Feminist

No matter if you are just dipping your toes into the waters of feminism or consider yourself to be a rather seasoned activist, there are always ways to be better allies within our communities.

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As a feminist and as a woman, there is something so magical about International Women's Day and the whole month of March in general. I am so proud to be able to champion for women's rights and gender equity in my daily life and so much of my identity is wrapped up in the label of "feminist". But as I have progressed on my journey of labeling myself a feminist, I have also realized that there is always room for improvement. Many people are content in the influence that feminism has on their daily lives but if you are looking to bring more feminism into your daily life, here are five things that make me a better feminist.

1. Be an intersectional feminist

For many of you, this is an obvious and seamless facet to your definition of feminism. When I first started learning about what it truly means to be a feminist, I was surprised to see just how far I had to go on my journey of societal enlightenment.

To me, intersectional feminism means advocating for the rights of all people, not just women. Yes, women's rights are absolutely one of the forefronts of my feminism but I would be doing my community a great disservice if I failed to recognize the great need for intersectionality in modern feminism. Intersectional feminism focuses on advocating for women, people of color, the disabled community, the LGBTQ+ community, and all other marginalized identities.

When we fight, we fight for all.

2. Support local feminist/social justice organizations

Now I realize that this is easier said than done, but I'm going to give you a few ways that you totally can support your local feminists even if you think that you can't. I know in high school, I lived in a very small town and thought that I just had to keep my feminism under wraps until I moved to a city with a more liberal presence. Supporting local change can manifest in a variety of ways. If you are able to attend marches and rallies, absolutely go for it!

But if not, support your local social justice organizations even if that is just buying a sticker and putting it on your laptop. And if you truly cannot afford to support monetarily, support via social media by being an active follower. In our digital society, an active social media presence is vital.

3. Support Women Operated + Owned

Similar to the last point, if you are able to, support women/minority operated and owned whenever possible. It is extremely hard to run a business, more so if you are already at a disadvantage because you are part of a marginalized community. By purchasing goods from their businesses, you are validating their identity and existence within your community.

I truly believe that you vote with your dollar. And every time you purchase a sticker from Culture Flock or get eco-friendly goodies at the Soap Refill Station, you are directly supporting badass, women entrepreneurs in your community. Not to mention, you are supporting your local economy and getting higher quality products than buying from large corporations!

4. Attend Local Marches/Rallies/Events

Although this one isn't very original, it's SO important. I know that when I lived in a small town, marches were nonexistent. But if you are at all able, even if you do have to travel a bit, support at these marches really does make a big difference. Especially if you live in a smaller or more conservative town.

The first rally that I ever went to made it on the news! And it was a relatively small rally that reached a little over 50 people. And I have to tell you, I was terrified when I went to my first protest. I was new to the area and knew literally nobody there.

But, I did the scary thing and I met some amazing people and was immediately welcomed with open arms. Little did I know that my nerves and mild discomfort would lead to me meeting someone who I would eventually intern for and amazing friends that will last a lifetime.

5. Educate yourself

This is one aspect of feminism that never ends. As I have become more aware of the world around me, I have realized just how much more I have to learn. And while that can seem disheartening to some, I find it more humbling than anything. There is always more to learn about the history of marginalized groups, current events, and how we can be better allies and citizens. I often encounter many people who say that they aren't into politics because they are uneducated and while that is understandable, it's not an excuse.

The thing about being a feminist is that while you don't know everything, you try to make the world a better place. I noticed this a lot with lobbying. People were not at all confident and felt ill-equipped but our politicians are not experts on every issue. And when you are talking to people with adverse opinions to you, there is a good chance that you have the upper hand with just a little bit of research.

And, to quote a beautiful woman, writer, and feminist, Maya Angelou "When we know better, we do better".

No matter where you are at on your feminist journey, I applaud you. It takes such courage to stand out in what you believe regardless of if that is putting a planned parenthood sticker on your water bottle or protesting loudly on the steps of the capitol. My dear feminists, we see you, we love you, and we need you; now perhaps more than ever.

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