The Portrait of a Feminist


by Kat Kelley

Age 3. My mother is so round, and they tell me I’m going to have another sibling. I ask the perennial “where do babies come from?” My mother does not shy from the question. She sets an early precedent; she will not teach me that sex is shameful, taboo, she will teach me that she is safe, a resource. She returns from the library with age-appropriate picture books and explains just where babies come from.

Age 8. It takes about four reminders from Mom before I clean the bathroom floor. The dogs haven’t been walked and you can’t really see Rose’s floor. It doesn’t bother my father so much. My mother caves- for her it is easier to clean up herself, than to keep harassing us. Until it isn’t. She goes on strike for two weeks. Refuses to clean a single plate. We laugh, I think we…

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