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Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Embracing the "F" Word

Word on the internet is that certain female celebrities –Shailene Woodley, Taylor Swift, and Katy Perry, to name a few – are shying away from the “F” word.  I missed the TIME articles which dealt with the issue directly – and Shailene Woodley specifically – but I have been following the chatter in various blog posts.  Even AOL deigned to give the subject a tile or two.
So, I’ve been thinking:  how often do I use the “F” word?   When did I start? How do I feel about all the controversy?
I have never heard my mother use the “F” word.  I don’t think I ever heard my Aunt Renee use it, either, but I know she encouraged her daughters to use it.  I think the rest of my family is pretty evenly divided on the subject.
I believe I began using the “F” word in high school.  A few of my teachers at Girls’ High encouraged it.  I know I never would have been admitted to LaSalle College without the “F” word.  I owe my career, my credit score, and even my mortgage to the “F” word.

I am pretty sure Hillary Clinton embraces the “F” word, although I can’t recall if I have ever heard her use it in public.   

And, while Sarah Palin would rather be caught dead than caught using the “F” word, she could never have been a Vice Presidential candidate without it.

My gynecologist, my veterinarian, my family doctor – whether they realize it or not, they most likely owe their choice of professions to the “F” word.

 So I find myself feeling fairly distressed when young women with power blanch at the “F” word – the very wellspring from which their power emanates – as if it really were the “F” word.  Because it means that those of us who have embraced the “F” word may not have gotten the word out well enough.

Yes, it is disheartening: Shailene Woodley,Taylor Swift and Katy Perry are frightened of the “F” word. 

But there is good news, too: 
I understand Beyonce’, Natalie Portman, and Amy Poehler have no problem with it at all.

By  now, I hope you have guessed that I am not writing about the “F” word here. If you have been following the fallout from the TIME articles, you know the “F” word I mean:


By one definition:  the social, political and economic equality of the sexes.

Not a bad word at all.


  1. Mary, I have to admit, I'm fond of both "F" words.
    I think some people think of feminism as too "in your face"
    Hoping the current "Fight like a Girl" campaign helps to rectify that.


      I think the above link will take you to an article about Legos. Apparently, we have 7-year-old girls in our corner.

  2. Recently heard this on the golf course:
    man to woman: "you hit like a girl"
    woman in response: "yeah, try to keep up, would ya?"

  3. Read a news story about a new mutual fund that only includes companies that have more than four women on their boards. Research shows that these companies have consistently outperformed male dominated company boards. It pains me so much to see women continually overlooked for leadership roles in corporate America. Not sure what it will take to turn that around, but I thank Betty Friedan, Gloria Steinem and others for having the courage in the 1970s to start the fight.

    1. I understand that glass ceiling is why so many women still leave the corporate world to become entrepreneurs. When one door (ceiling) closes, we have to build our own wings and fly above it.

  4. As a condition of receiving our Medicare contract this go around, we had to subcontract with at least one small woman-owned small business. Even the Federal Government knows the benefits of the feminists.

    Julie V.

  5. Just read a great review of Beyoncé's performance at VMAs. Sharing the link.

  6. thanks for sharing the link, Mary