This is the story of Pam and John; she in her early 50’s and John is 62. Pam is a college professor. John taught at a local community college until diagnosed with Parkinson’s in March 2008, then Lewy Body Dementia in April.


Thursday, July 17, 2008


I brought up feminism and caregiving with my bicycling partner this morning and she could relate because she is a stay-at-home mom. She asked me how I define feminism and I said feminism is about empowering women (somehow I didn't want to define it as about self-realization for women). She spoke of how her mother fought for feminism; my friend is of a younger generation and didn't have to fight. I said she had choices and she used them--that is what her mother fought for.

In effect I was defining feminism as women having choices. Then I realized that is what John sees as my different culture--my expecting and wanting to have choices instead of accepting what happens as just the way it is. Life hits us with plenty of situations where we don't have any choice, but we can work towards a society that maximizes the choices people have. Thinking about it that way gives me more courage to stand up for my perspective--it is a feminist principle that people should have choices, though it isn't always possible. I don't have a choice, but I'm entitled to feel anger about that.

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