Life, Truths

It’s okay, you can still wear lipstick and be a feminist!

My name is Juli Hoffman and I’m…a feminist.


Of all the things I could admit to, of all the titles I’ve worn, this is the one that seems to create the most controversy.  It’s silly. Feminism isn’t something dirty. gives us this definition:



The doctrine advocating social, political, and all other rights of women equal to those of men.
There’s no mention of burning underwear, bras or otherwise.  There’s no mention of armpit hair length.  There’s no bashing of men.  There’s nothing controversial about this!  Women are people.  Men are people.  People should be treated with respect. Right?  I think this is something everyone should be able to relate to, no matter what organs you were born with—or wish you were born with.

So…how did the word feminist get so turned around?  Why is it such an ugly word?  I feel like my generation dropped the ball somewhere.  Equal pay for the same job title and the same amount of work…um, sure.  A movie/novel/TV show that has these requirements, otherwise known as the Bechdel Test:

  1. at least two women,
  2. who talk to each other,
  3. about something besides a man.

Yeah, this is nearly impossible to find!  But why?  Aren’t women people, too?  I thought they were.  I promise; I can talk to other women about lots of topics!  LOL

I recently finished reading Peggy Orenstein’s book, Girls & Sex Navigating The Complicated New Landscape.


Fantastic read!  Here are my thoughts on this book: If you have a teenage daughter (or son) and Peggy Orenstein’s research is true, you should probably be terrified right now. Forget about the zombie apocalypse.  This book will give you nightmares!

When I think of feminism, I think of this quote:

“I myself have never been able to find out precisely what feminism is: I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat, or a prostitute.”
― Rebecca West, Young Rebecca: Writings, 1911-1917

What happened?  It’s 2016.  Little girls should be feeling pretty good about themselves. Grown women should, too!  But…it’s like we don’t have any realistic role models for girls to emulate.  A woman doesn’t have to be a Stepford Wife.  On the opposite end of the spectrum, they don’t have to be a machine-gun-toting ninja-spy with huge breasts, running in 6-inch stilettos, either.  Yikes!  Maybe this is why feminism is so misunderstood!

Women are people.

Men are people.

I am Pro-People.

I am a feminist.

I don’t hate men.

Or women.

Or any other people.

I want my kiddo to have responsible role models, both male and female, not caricature cliches of men and women.  Why are they so difficult to find?  I want my kid to be able to make choices that won’t leave him feeling guilty.  I want to see positive changes in our culture.  I want girls to feel positive about their self-image, without feeling they’ve been objectified.  I want to see equality in my lifetime.

xo Juli 


13 thoughts on “It’s okay, you can still wear lipstick and be a feminist!”

  1. I am currently reading Gloria Steinem”s 2015 book, My Life on the Road. Old school feminist but living in today. It’s a fabulous inside look. Check it out!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m definitely a feminist at heart. I’ve been that way since I was a little girl before I even knew what the word meant. And though I do have big breasts, you won’t see me doing the “machine-gun-toting ninja-spy, running in 6-inch stilettos” thing. LOL Honestly, I don’t know how a woman with big breasts can be comfortable running. I know I’m not. 🙂

    I do agree it’s sad that the culture has twisted the meaning of the word. I don’t think it’s what women fighting for the right to vote and equal pay intended.


    1. Probably not! LOL Last night, I discovered a “new to me” website, Women in Refrigerators. It’s a list of the disproportionate number of comic book superheroines who have been either killed, depowered, abused, raped, incapacitated, brain washed, or cut up and stuck in the refrigerator…as a plot device to move a male character’s story arc forward. I’ve read some brutal stuff done to female characters, but I didn’t realize this was it’s own “Trope.” I’m pretty sure women fighting for the right to vote, never intended for this either. LOL Frankly, I had NO IDEA comics were so brutal to their female characters. If you’re going to be in a comic book, DON’T be a woman! YIKES!!!


  3. I guess, if I were labeled…it would be as Mo described above “old school feminist.” I’m old, been to school, and lived the frustration of doing more than equal work for less than equal pay my entire working life. Rebecca West said it so well. It inspires me, Juli, to read your writing so clearly and well about these continuing issues. Thank you. 🌵


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