Well, actually, my mom inadvertently made me a feminist. It was during the church picnic and I was four. The boys all had their jeans on and I was wearing one of those sun dresses with the scrunchy elastic top that matched what she was wearing. This totally sucked, because it meant that I had to "keep my dress nice" instead of running all over and kicking up dust and acting like a wild yahoo. I argued that it wasn’t fair if the boys got to wear jeans and I didn’t. I cried. I refused to come out of my room until someone showed up with a bunch of dilly bars from Dairy Queen. But all to no avail. I had to wear the dress and behave myself. Fie on that crap.
But that just seemed like church stupidity to me. I had no idea how widespread the problem was until I was in third grade and a man came in to talk to us about science and he was telling us about some delicate electronic procedure where they needed a single eyelash to do something. And then he said, "And we never use women’s eyelashes. Can you guess why?"
None of us could. And he said, "Because women wear mascara and the mascara can irreparably damage the equipment."
I raised my hand. I said, "But what if I never wear mascara. Can you use my eyelashes then?"
And he said, "No. Women look pretty. That’s their job. You’ll wear mascara."
God, I should hunt that dude down and punch him in the arm. Then I should ask him to kindly shove his heteronormative head up his sexist pig ass.