Feminist Conversations is a weekly series at Feminists For Choice. We spotlight activists from across the interwebs to find out what feminism means to them. Willie J. Parker, MD, MPH, MSc, is the Medical Director of Planned Parenthood Metro Washington, and a board member of Physicians for Reproductive Choice and Health (PRCH). We met earlier this year at a reception for Carole Joffe, and he has graciously agreed to be interviewed by me twice: first for my book Generation Roe, and now for Feminists for Choice.
1. When did you first call yourself a feminist, and what influenced that decision?
That’s an interesting question. Long before I knew what to call myself, I realized that I had a compulsion around working on fundamental issues of fairness across gender lines. As I pursued my consciousness-raising, I came across a simple book by bell hooks called Feminism is for Everybody. In it, she simplifies the fact that feminism is less about biology than it is about how one perceives and operates in the world regarding issues of gender fairness. As I look back, I conclude that while I have been working for gender-neutral equality for a while, I have self-described as a feminist since reading that book about six years ago.
2. What does feminism mean to you?
Feminism for me is the worldview and effort toward equality based on neutralizing differences in life chances based on gender. I look at feminism as a specific context in which to pursue human rights. I like the definition that I once saw on a bumper sticker: “Feminism is the radical notion that women are human beings.”
3. What led you to become an abortion provider? [Read more...]