Several chapters in FEMINISM FROM A to Z focus on girls and women who are interested in STEM (check out “B is for BRAIN” and “G is for GEEK” in particular). So who better to discuss feminism with than Stacia Deutsch? Stacia is the author of The Friendship Code, the first in the Girls Who Code series (and yes, they’re based on the wildly popular Girls Who Code afterschool clubs).
Here’s how Stacia answered the question, “What does feminism mean to you?”
When I was in college, I was frustrated. I was at a women’s college which had instilled in me the best education, and I was heading into a career that men had dominated for centuries. I wasn’t always a writer. I went to graduate school to be a rabbi. I felt like I needed advice on how to balance a demanding career and what I saw as a family life that could easily get shoved to the side.
My dad suggested I read Betty Friedan’s article in a book called The Second Wave. I not only read it, I called her. Shockingly, she answered the phone and agreed to come speak on campus. Bringing a feminist icon to school was an amazing experience (she was a tough nut!). On that day, she gave one clear message that will always stick with me: It’s not one or the other – it’s “both/and.”
I heard Betty Friedan loud and clear. I didn’t have to choose if I was going to have a family or a career. I had choices. Infinite choices. Some women would choose career, some family, some a path not charted. For me, I could have career and family. I deserved both. It was both/and.
Everyone has their own understanding of Feminism. My definition is modeled in Betty Friedan’s words. A woman should be able to live her life the way she wants, without judgement. And more, without feeling that she compromised anything. I’ve had a tremendous life of “both and.” I raised my three kids, was a rabbi for a while, then found a new path and a fulfilling career as a writer.
There’s no one Feminist journey. It’s not one thing or the other – it’s both and more.
Wow, Betty Friedan! What a great story. Thank you, Stacia!
Stacia Deutsch has written more than two hundred children’s books. She started her career with the award winning chapter book series, Blast to the Past. Now, her resume includes Nancy Drew and Boxcar Children mysteries in addition to junior movie tie in novels for summer blockbuster films, like Ghostbusters and The Smurfs. New books include The Mysterious Makers of Shaker Street and the NYT Bestseller, The Friendship Code. Find her at www.staciadeutsch.com, @staciadeutsch and http://www.facebook/staciadeutsch.
FEMINISM FROM A to Z is now available for pre-order!