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I Brought My 6-Year Old Daughter to a Feminist Gathering

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When I saw on my Facebook feed that my old friend of almost 20 years was back in Manila and starting a feminist group, I thought to myself: “Well… I wonder how this will turn out.”

First, let me tell you that I can say that I have been a feminist for as far back as my memory serves me: pre-school. I have two brothers and two sisters. I always had an interest in my brothers’ cars, Lego, or their police helmets. I had my own stash of Matchbox cars in a little laced basket hidden like contraband. Boy’s toys just seemed far more fun than playing with dolls. I didn’t really understand what was so fun about dressing up a doll or brushing its hair. I was, however, curious about their anatomy and wondered what they looked like underneath. I would also draw on my sister’s Barbie and Ken dolls. At some point I tried cutting Barbie’s hair to see if it would grow back. I was a curious little girl who played with my father’s engineering equipment in the garage frequently because being the youngest of five kids meant not getting your turn on the Nintendo or be able to play with toys without a fight. So I’d retreat to the garage playing with soldering wires and circuits. My read-along books with a little 45 I would play on the record player with a voice that would read to me and later to the set of encyclopedia books that had answers to everything.

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