Judy Blume Doesn't Get Why Feminism Is a Bad Word

Cristen Conger

Judy Blume is a feminist. Of course. For more than 30 years, her books like Forever, Deenie and Are Your There God, It's Me Margaret have made adults nervous and downright censorious for their honest depictions of girls' (and Ralph's) bodies, puberty and exploring sexuality without retribution. So when Buzzfeed asked her to free associate with the f-word, she answered "yes, from the beginning."

Since gender equality is such a given for her, it boggles Blume's mind that some young women continue to distance themselves from identifying with feminism or as a feminist. In a must-watch interview with MAKERS, Blume suspects they likely take for granted the social and legal liberties women enjoy that weren't available when she was coming of age:

"I don't understand why some young people think feminism is a bad word. Maybe they just don't know what it was like to worry all the time about getting pregnant, to be terrified even within our marriages..."

She goes on to tell MAKERS, "[the women's movement] gave me courage" in a time when being a twice divorced, single mother was stigmatized. In addition to fighting for women's ownership over their bodies via reproductive rights, second wave feminism also expanded Blume's and other women's potential horizons beyond marriage and family. In becoming one of the most famous and beloved authors of the 20th century, Blume certainly proven that was possible.

For more on Blume's life and literary legacy, be sure to listen to our Judytastic podcast, Judy Blume Forever.

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