Michael Genhart is another Magination Press author whose books frequently address social justice issues. OUCH! MOMENTS , for example, educates children and adults about the harmful effects of microaggressions (subtle insults, hostilities, and negatives, both intentional and unintentional, against members of a marginalized group). His upcoming book, I SEE YOU, is a wordless picture book that depicts the all-too-frequent invisibility of people who are experiencing homelessness.
Given that sexism intersects with so many other forms of marginalization, I wondered what Michael might have to say on the subject of feminism. When I asked him, “What does feminism mean to you?” here’s what he said:
Many -ism words are those you’d not want associated with who you are (e.g., racism, sexism, classism). Feminism is also a word that for some people you might get a strong reaction upon hearing, “I believe in feminism.” It can conjure up ideas of radical politics and divisiveness held by left-leaning women and their supporters.
To me, at the core of feminism, when you remove any negative associations to the word, is a belief that women and men should share equality across all areas of life – socially, economically, politically, etc. And anyone can be a feminist: men and women alike can hold such beliefs. Because it’s a about fighting for equal rights for all people – where no one is a second-class citizen.
So many people associate the word “feminism” with something bad or negative – even though feminism is really about equity, fairness, and humanity. This is a point I expand on in the chapter titled “R is for RADICAL.” But Michael’s right – feminism is all about enjoying social, economic, and political power. All of us should have access to that!
Thanks, Michael, for your response!
Michael Genhart, PhD, is a licensed clinical psychologist in private practice in San Francisco and Mill Valley, California. He lives with his family in Marin County.
He received his BA in psychology from the University of California, San Diego and his PhD in clinical and community psychology from the University of Maryland, College Park. He is the author of several picture books including: Ouch! Moments: When Words Are Used in Hurtful Ways (2016), Peanut Butter & Jellyous (2017), Mac & Geeeez! (2017), Cake & I Scream! (2017), So Many Smarts! (2017), and I See You (2017), all from Magination Press, as well as Love Is Love (Little Pickle Press/Sourcebooks, 2018). You can read more about these books at: http://www.michaelgenhart.com.
FEMINISM FROM A to Z is available for pre-order now!