My Collected Writings on Feminism So Far

One of the scariest things I’ve done so far in my career is being vocal, from a professional standpoint, about feminism. I have no formal education on feminist theory, though I’ve done quite a bit of independent study and research on my own. I have a doctorate degree in Cognitive Psychology, which has generally served me well in learning about new topics in a deep and meaningful way, while bringing my expertise in psychology to bear on the topic.

It’s been a fun and informative process. I’ve gotten things right, and I’ve gotten things wrong. I’ve had the privilege of being educated by kind folks with more expertise in feminist theory than I have, and that has led to a more full-bodied understanding of these topics in my own writing.

I wanted to take an opportunity to put a few of my latest writings all in one place. This isn’t my usual kind of content (and, I’ll be honest, I’m not loving the self-congratulatory vibe here), but I am very proud of my work. I want to share it, to receive feedback on it, and to evolve as a feminist thinker. Most of these posts are from my column on Psychology Today called Compassionate Feminism. Some are from other outlets.

What is Compassionate Feminism?

Contemporary feminism has an image problem that threatens the movement. Compassionate feminism offers a way forward that unifies women and builds bridges with potential allies.

Is “Sisterhood” What We Need?

Can sisterhood thrive when there is disparity in power and privilege? Creating sisterhood begins with dismantling all forms of oppression that affect women from every walk of life.

Debunking the Myth of the Man-Hating Feminist

Feminists challenge patriarchy, but misconceptions label them as man-haters. Research suggests their anger is aimed at systems of oppression, not individual men.

The Pick Me Problem

Explore a feminist critique of how we address internalized misogyny and pick-me behavior without being sexist ourselves.

Hostile and Benevolent Sexism: Two Sides of the Same Coin

Benevolent sexism masks hostility behind chivalry, shaping women’s behavior under the guise of protection and care. It’s a subtle yet harmful form of sexism.

The Paradox of Women’s Aging

Personal perspective: As women age, they grapple with societal pressures to remain youthful or risk losing their value. Here’s how we can reclaim our freedom.

The Perception Paradox: Men Who Hate Feminists Think Feminists Hate Men

Feminists, on the whole, don’t hate men. We hate sexism and sexist oppression. After all, men are harmed by patriarchy, too.

The Bizarre Anti-Woman Rhetoric Coming from Feminists of All People

Feminism believes that patriarchy—the system that subverts and oppresses women—also harms men. It sees men as victims of patriarchy, but in obviously different ways. Feminists fight for men to come to terms with this and to fight for their own liberation from patriarchy as well as ours.

Sister Wives Without Kody?: Feminist Thoughts on a Rumor I Heard

Sometimes, it’s important to make much of the “small” wins. Having a misogynistic alpha-bro potentially kicked off his own show is a small win, I’ll grant that. But its significance in the broader picture is enormous.

The Difficult Work of Compassionate Feminism

My concept of compassionate feminism is exactly that—a focus on how we, as women who have been harmed by patriarchy and misogyny, can invite and even welcome men into our cause. There is no question that patriarchy harms everyone, including men. Although the harms done to men are quite different from those done to women under the oppression of patriarchy, the harms men experience are equally profound.

Thanks for checking them out! It’s been a journey of learning and growth, and I’m excited to keep at it!

Amber Wardell is a doctor of psychology and author who speaks on women’s issues related to marriage, motherhood, and mental health. Subscribe to the free newsletter to get exclusive content delivered to your inbox and to never miss an upload.

Check out her blog called Compassionate Feminism on Psychology Today to join a feminist conversation centered in openness, empathy, and equity.

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