the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

Mom, Are You a Feminist?


I’m eating some chicken soup my mother made (yes, true!) while reading an article online, when I decide to ask my mother the big question that will finally decide the course of Western history.

Me:  Mom, are you a feminist?

Mom:  Uh, what do you mean?

Me:   Do you consider yourself a feminist?

Mom:    Well, I always worked as a woman.

Me:   That doesn’t mean you are a feminist. Do you believe in equal pay for men and women?

Mom:    Yes.

Me:   And do you believe that both a man and a woman can be the boss?

Mom:    Of course. I was an office manager.

Me:   Will you vote for a woman president?

Mom:    Sure. Like Hillary Clinton. But it’s not like I’m going to vote for that Kardashian woman just because she’s a woman.

Me:  Do you think a feminist should look a certain way?  Like not wear lipstick or shave her legs?

Mom:  She could do what she wants.   I mean, eventually, she’ll probably have to shave her legs at least once.  If she wants to date.  Or before her wedding.

Me:   And what do you think about the different roles of mothers and fathers?

Mom:    Well, I do believe that a parent should stay at home with a young child.

Me:   Aha!  Gotcha!  So, you think a mother should stay at home?

Mom:    No, it could be the father.

Me:  Interesting.   So it doesn’t matter?

Mom:  I think women tend to have a better touch with young kids, but if the woman makes more money than her husband, what’s the difference?  As long as one of them stays home.

Me:   Hmm… so, isn’t it a bit hypocritical considering that you didn’t follow your own rule.  You and dad both worked.  You weren’t always home for me.   Is this why I’m in therapy?

Mom:    No, you’re in therapy because you’re crazy. I DID stayed at home until you went to first grade. Don’t you remember?

Me:   Not really.

Mom:  And then when I worked in the city, you always had your Grandma Annette to go to after school in case I had to work late.

Me:   Still sounds like I was a latch-key child without a home.   I’m blaming feminism for giving me social anxiety.

Mom:    Maybe, but remember this, with both of us working, at least we were able to afford to send you to an expensive college.  Where you ended up studying poetry.

Me:   OK, well, thank you for that.   And talking about college.  Here’s a big issue today.  Do you think both men and women are equipped to study in fields such as math, science, and engineering?

Mom:    I wish YOU had studied in math, science, and engineering rather than being an English major who spends time taking photos on his iPhone.  Maybe that’s why you’re in therapy!

Me:   So you believe women belong in technology?

Mom:   Mrs. Kubota’s daughter, Grace, works in Silicon Valley and sends her mother on a cruise every year. So, yes, women can work in match, science, and engineering.

My mother goes into the kitchen.

Mom:  Would you like some more soup?

Me:   No, thanks.

Mom:    Are you sure? There’s only a little left.

Me:   Mom, we are talking feminism here.

Mom:    So, you can’t be a Jewish mother and a feminist?

Me:   OK, I’ll have some more soup.

My mother pours me some more soup.

Me:  And while we’re at it, let’s discuss cooking at home? Do you think that is more a job for a wife than a husband?

Mom:   Ha Ha, no.

Me:   So why didn’t Dad ever cook? You did all the cooking. That wasn’t fair.

Mom:    Well, that’s me marrying wrong. Or the fault of Grandma Annette for never showing your father how to make anything other than a peanut butter sandwich. That’s how it was back then. But today, men love to cook. When you watch Top Chef, half of the best chefs are men, so I sure hope they are also making dinner at home for their wives.  In fact, this weekend, I’m showing you how to make a brisket.

Me:   What about cleaning? Why do women do more of the cleaning at home? That’s also not fair.

Mom:    Now THAT has to change. The biggest scam ever created.  By men.

Me:   So you ARE a feminist?

Mom:    Yes. And I think cleaning the house equally should be the top priority.

Case Closed.   My mother is a feminist.


  1. Average Jane

    Can she be my mom, too?

  2. magpie

    your mother is AWESOME.

  3. dk

    I love your mom.

    Neil, are you a feminist?

  4. jana

    Well, I loved your mom already, but now? Now she’s my hero! EQUAL CLEANING DUTIES FOR MEN AND WOMEN!

  5. Amanda

    Imagine if more people considered it from so many angles. Wish I could sit for soup and sense with your mom.

  6. Rebecca

    “You can’t be a Jewish mother and a feminist?” Perfect.

  7. Jenni Chiu @MommyNaniBooboo

    Case closed…
    and now I need some soup.

  8. michelle

    What am AMAZING mother you have!

  9. Steven licht

    Neil, you’re mom is a feminist and she’s real funny too. I agree with everything she said (except for the part about Hillary !) Licht.

  10. Nina

    Loved this, Neil. She got you on the studying of poetry at the expensive college they worked their tuchuses off to send you to! 😉

  11. Joanne Bamberger

    I love your mom! Now maybe you’d better write her a nice feminist poem so that degree goes to some good use 😉

  12. Sarah Piazza

    “No, you’re in therapy because you’re crazy.” <– Your mom is a riot!

    • Average Jane

      That was my favorite line in the entire thing.

  13. Holly

    How I love your mom. She is so with the program.

  14. Ms. Moon

    The Mom has it going on. She’s nobody’s fool. I bet she makes damn good chicken soup too, doesn’t she?

  15. Elan Morgan

    I like this a lot 🙂

  16. absence of alternatives

    I agree: cleaning it’s the biggest scam and should be top priority issue.

    Your mom is awesome. You ain’t so bad either. Feminists raise great children. 😉

  17. alexandra

    I would watch a webseries of you and your mother.

    • Kizz

      Yes, please.

  18. Michele

    Case closed. Neil deemed crazy by his mother.

  19. Josette Plank

    “I know how to make a brisket. I share household cleaning duties.”

    The Tinder requests will come pouring in!

    • Neil

      Her secret ingredient is… Ketchup.

  20. Laurel Regan

    Your mom is seriously the best. LOVE her!

  21. Kizz

    Thank you, Neil’s mom!

  22. Marie

    Well your mom is my hero. Men and women SHOULD share equal household duties! I currently have this issue with my husband… *sigh*

  23. Lillian Connelly

    Your mom needs her own blog. She’s funny and smart. My favorite line is this:

    No, you’re in therapy because you’re crazy.

    She knows how to keep life simple…

  24. NotKate

    Hey Neil,

    Are those binders full of women?

  25. Kim

    Haha. Your mom sounds like she is one heck of an awesome woman. Love how she keeps it real and honest.

  26. Tammy

    This feels like part of a play in the making…

  27. pia

    I want to nominate this for something. Anything.
    It. Is. Brilliant.
    And a post-Seinfeld TV show.

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