“It was just me and my dad growing up, I wasn’t a feminist then,” said Mara Cash, who grew up roughhousing with the boys, spending weekends hiking and playing sports. It wasn’t until she attended a Young Women’s poetry camp that she found out who she was. There, she was surrounded by young women like herself, sharing stories and poems about other powerful women, like her favorite ‘Wild Geese” by Mary Oliver. In it, Oliver writes “Whoever you are, no matter how lonely, the world offers itself to your imagination.” She learned about feminism, and encountered women who exuded the strength and confidence she wanted for herself.Cash realized that it was a part of her identity she had been missing.
She left that camp a feminist, and she’s carried that role with her to college. As president of the feminist club on campus, the psychology major found a group of like-minded people who shared her beliefs, which she didn’t have at home. “My dad is totally a feminist, he just won’t admit to it,” says Cash. “He supports all the core values of feminism, but there’s just something about that word…”
Story by Lauren Rathmell
Photos by Tierra Thomas