Sasha Fiercely Not Feminist

I’m always taken aback when a woman proclaims she is not a feminist. I think we should ask “why not” more often. Here’s someone who had to learn “why not” the hard way.


There is one moment, above all others in college, that I regret the most. Much more than the men, the blackouts, the Hot Topic t-shirts. It took place on the day of my thesis defense.

My creative writing thesis was a memoir manuscript, or at least tried to be. The story followed my first two years in college, a traffic jam of bad dates and evaporated self-esteem. I wore a bright pink sundress to the thesis presentation, the same dress I wore on my first date with Matt, my then-boyfriend and now-husband.

In practice, the undergraduate thesis defense is about as hard-hitting as a preschool gym day game of parachute. Hurray, everyone wins! Your professors lob a few good-natured questions, your friends pretend they read the thing, and no one leaves without a cookie.

A few unmemorable questions in, and my thesis-advisor professor raised her hand. “How would you say…

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