How to make a FEMINISM Genogram

You know?  Feminism needs some clarity in the moment.  It does.  Because so much has changed since the Second Wave. So, what does that word mean to you, how did you learn about that word FEMINISM in the first place and where do you place yourself along a timeline in terms of it?

It’s easy for me, because I first heard that word when I was a young teenager in Junior High.  College students were coming to my campus and talking about it.  I hung out with lots of groups in that time — mostly the rebellious groups — and the school alternative newspaper people.  I knew three girls who were running it, and once in a while they would publish my poems — so for me?  Feminism was a fun thing, and I have good associations to it.

You might not.

Here is how you can figure the whole thing out for yourself!

What would be kind of cool would be to do a visual timeline and you can use this to figure out all the different things you know about gender too?  Or all the words for gender.  There are so many, it seems.

I grew up thinking FEMINISM was only for women, but, maybe time has evolved the word into something else because so many years have passed.

Here you go…

Get about six sheets of paper out of the printer and tape them together.  You can concentrate on your grandparents, your parents, and yourself for the years.  So, mine looks like this:


What you want to put is a date for when you were born, your mother was born, and your grandmother was born.

If you don’t have a mother, or a grandmother, you can still do the timeline.  Pick somebody who you knew who loved you that was older than you, or raised you for them?

It’ll be easy to grab some pictures from the web of historical events in your own life that helped you to understand this word!

So, I can make a mark on the line for when I knew I was a girl.  Age 5.

Make another line for when you decided on gender for yourself.  People usually know by age five.

My line looks like this:


I sort of forgot about FEMINISM for a long time because I was too busy working.  However, that has changed for me in the year 2010.  I care about it again, pretty strongly.  One of the things I did was be a Girl Scout? So maybe that started me off on the FEMINIST track, but by the time we got to the 1970’s, I was a teenage feminist and so were my friends.  And, the kind of feminist I was wore make-up and shaved her legs, too.  Just as soon as my mother let me.  One group of girls I knew couldn’t stand make-up.  There are as many kinds of different feminists as there are people?

On the gender thing, I grew up knowing I was a girl — and I liked boys.

Some boys like boys. Some girls like girls.  Everybody pretty much develops by age 10, that way.  Or they did in the years before people began to decide to change genders.  Or go beyond gender?

But, new words and concepts have come into the language since the late 1970’s.  I picked that word Feminism, because it was the word for my generation.  You might have a different word that you want to put?  For your generation.

Write the word down in big letters on the timeline.

Now, you can grab some pictures to print out kind of like scrapbooking?  Or use pictures of yourself?

Tape or paste those down on the timeline.  You can make new dates on the timeline for positive or negative things that have happened around that word FEMINISM for you.  Put positive things ABOVE the line, and negative things BELOW the line.

You could also use pictures from magazines, too.  Paste the positive pictures and the negative pictures where they belong.

When I learned about FEMINISM it was a very positive thing.  I was between what they call the Second Wave and the Third Wave of Feminists. Right now we are in the Fourth Wave.  So where do you fit?

There is no Wikipedia for Fourth Wave Feminism yet.

I found this one on New Feminism. Hmmm.  Interesting.  Personally, I prefer Fourth Wave, because Feminism is about waves.

I’ve been following news articles on FEMINISM for a week or two, and I will be continuing to read them.

For me, FEMINISM helped me grow up as an equal to males.  I can trace it all the way back to being a Girl Scout.

I was reading so many poets in Junior High.  Also I was reading Ms. Magazine, and they published this poem by Faith Wilding.

I never forgot it.  You can  read it here — it’s called Waiting.

It’s one of the most powerful poems I have ever read, about being a woman.

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