Guest : Claiming Your Feminist Identity

Welcome to a guest post from Melaina.  I read Melaina's blog and we recently met for the first time at BlogCamp Manchester.  Melaina writes a regular series about feminism and I always glossed over those posts, simply because I had a narrow-minded view of feminism.  After actually reading one of her posts and a chat with another blogger I had a bit of a "aahhh, that's it" moment and I got all excited about my epiphany; fired up and wanting to write so much.  Melaina had already written about her "aha moment" and has allowed me to repost it here.

Melaina blogs at "Transatlantic Blonde" where she holds a weekly link-up based around feminism.  You can also find her on Twitter as @Melaina25.

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I'd like to think I've always been a feminist. I certainly grew up believing I could do anything my male counterparts could do and I was never told otherwise. My first real introduction to feminism was through an amazing anthropology course I took to fulfil some random credits I needed my Freshman year at university. It was taught by the amazing Diane Bell and if I'd never taken that class who knows if I would have ended up a Women's Studies major. She was the first of several very influential Women's Studies professors I was lucky enough to have teach and support me.

The first time I can remember actually claiming my feminist identity, the first time I can remember thinking "No that's not right and I have to do something" was during the summer of 1999. I was 19 and one of my friends had a serious boyfriend and the condom broke. She was upset and went to her family doctor for the morning-after pill.  She was 18 and was in a long-term relationship, but she was about to start college and while they had taken precautions obviously sometimes condoms break.

My friend went to the doctor she'd seen most of her life, someone she trusted and what did they tell her "Sorry we are a family practice. We do what's in the best interest of families." They flat out refused to prescribe it to her. Needless to say she was upset, but I was enraged. How could a medical professional decide that my friend had to face a possibly unwanted pregnancy. It was her body, not the doctors.

So I did what any good friend would do and called Planned Parenthood and got her an appointment with a doctor who really did care about her best interest. She got the morning after pill (which is just a high dose of the pill if you must know) and she didn't become pregnant.  My friend is now herself a doctor and is married with a beautiful new son.

That's my "aha" moment; it's not a great story or an empowering story but it's how I remember it. I'd like to think I've always been a feminist, but the first time I can really remember claiming my feminist identity was that day. When did you claim yours?