This feminist wears bras.
This feminist blushes when a man pays her a compliment.
This feminist smiles sweetly and says thank you when men hold the door open or let her off the elevator first.
This feminist has rejected the title of feminist at times because of the association with the bra-burning, drum-beating militant crowd with which she has been identified.
But this feminist knows where her roots lie and she hurt on Dec. 6, 1989, when a lunatic entered l'Ecole Polytechnique and gunned down 14 of her sisters.
These sisters were pursuing an education in engineering, a profession not typically chosen by the 'fairer sex.'
On that very day, I was pursuing an education in English literature. My ability to write took me to a career in journalism, my passion for athletics took me to a specialization in sports.
A male-dominated profession, for sure.
I plied my trade for 15 years until I was laid off in 2006.
I beat no drum and set no fires.
No one heard me roar 'I am woman.'
But I'm still a feminist.
And that part of me had her fires lit when she read a column today calling out women for not doing enough.
In some ways, Barb Gustafson and I see eye to eye. We don't want to be pigeon-holed by someone else's label, because each one of us has a different definition of 'feminism.'
We each understand the 14 women who died 20 years ago weren't studying engineering because they wanted to prove a point that they could do a 'man's job.'
Our paths diverge, however, when Ms. Gustafson charges that we have stopped fighting, that we have let our guard down.
A CIBC report reveals a 50 per cent increase in the number of self-employed women in Canada. It projects one million Canadian women will own a small business by 2010.
It reveals 800,000 women are business owners in Canada and the number of women-owned businesses is growing 60 per cent faster than those run by men.
We are MPs and MLAs. We are senators, cabinet ministers, scientists, soldiers, police officers, firefighters, web designers, managers, presidents and vice-presidents of corporations, doctors and lawyers ... and sports writers.
Many of us are forging career paths and balancing lives of great variety.
We are role models and we are leaders.
We aren't, however, wearing T-shirts announcing our feminism and brow-beating our brothers into submission.
Instead, we should now - as a society, sisters and brothers together - take steps to educate men about the effects of their words and actions.
To teach men rape is wrong.
To teach men hitting women is wrong.
To teach men women are equal partners and merit respect.
We need to stop teaching that women are victims.
And by expecting us to take all the responsibility for change, we perpetuate that notion ... and victimize the girls who will be following in our footsteps and blazing their own trails.