6 introduction and Malavé 1993), discusses in depth mothers who try to protect their teenage daughters by preparing them for a male-dominated society in a similar way as my mother did with me. I read the second book for a qualitative research course in graduate school. Educated in Romance: Women, Achievement, and College Culture (Holland and Eisenhart 1990) pretty much solidified my becoming a full-fledged feminist. As I was reading Educated in Romance I realized the authors were describing my life, from the decisions I made to the way I viewed my place in the world. The authors describe how young women start out college with ambitions and dreams to become architects, political scientists, anthropologists, and so forth. Then, they quickly change course toward nurturing professions like teaching or nursing to make it easy to follow their romantic partners wherever they might go, sac- rificing their own careers for those of the men they have fallen in love with. Some of the things the women say in their interviews might have come directly from my own lips. The book spoke to me deeply because at the time I was experiencing much guilt for having left country and husband, and dragged my teenage son with me across the world so that, finally, I could give myself the education I had always dreamed of. I remember gasping as I read, tears streaming down my cheeks, feeling validated and supported, with fear and guilt pushed aside for a few moments. Of course, I understand that it was not the books per se that changed me. Rather, the words reached me at a point in my life’s journey that was the culmination of events, my therapy, and psychological develop- ment. It became a revelation, a huge “aha” period in my life, and I have never been the same since. Indeed, books have often been the catalyst in changing my life in most significant ways. FeMinisM For Me For me, being a feminist means being free from the patriarchal system, choosing against dominance, elitism, and exclusion, but opting for empathy and compassion for all human beings. It also means realizing that women are often their own worst enemies. Because socialization in childhood is so powerful, women have bought into the patriarchal system to survive and succeed. Rebelling against the system often calls for drastic external acting-out for men and women alike to counter- act that societal teaching in our early years. After all, it is less than a