The Basil O’Flaherty – Feminist Voices Interview

Thank you to

for the interview on Feminist Voices.

Here are some highlights. Read the entire Interview Here.

Q: Do you consider yourself a feminist? Why or why not?
A: I think first and foremost I am a humanist. I truly believe that a woman and a man, though they have different brain chemistries, can accomplish the same tasks – albeit in possibly different ways. The point of feminism is to give a voice to the women who have been silenced simply because their voices were not considered strong enough to plow through the male wall of misogyny.

Q: Describe a feminist moment in your life.
A: In college I took a Psychology of Women course. The first assignment was to write a paper explaining what made me a woman. Three pages, not a big deal – I think the instructor just wanted to see where each of us was in our thinking. I wrote the entire paper, then read it to my mom (it was an oral report). In the first sentence, I realized that I hadn’t written about being a woman, but being a person. How I was raised to be a good person, a successful person, a just person, a person who respected differences in people and celebrated all successes, a person who gave money to the random homeless person on the street, as long as my own bills were already paid.

I never thought of myself as a woman, or a girl, or a female – not specifically in those words – because I hadn’t been treated specifically “like a girl.” I had been raised to be a contributor to society. The only thing that made me “woman” was the fact that I had two X chromosomes – because technically, scientifically, the only difference between women and men is strictly chemical.

I realized that I had to rewrite my entire paper. In one night. I had to look myself in the mirror and figure out what was so “woman” about me?

Q: Who do you think is going to win this war, and who do you think should win?
A: I do not believe there is “a war.” There is a battle, but the war is not really win-able. No one can win this war – that means there is a winner and a loser. If women and men are equal, is there really a loser? Who loses? In my opinion, nobody. This probably shows my naïvete, to think than any world can live in peace with equality for all. However, this is my hope. I dream for a world where my children do not need to fear hatred or anguish or persecution or insults, just because there is someone bigger, or smarter, or more able, or more privileged – because everyone deserves a chance to succeed. Why is anyone’s success determinate on those who have been stepped on? What kind of success is that? That is not success – that is societal privilege.

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