I definitely think of myself as a proud feminist, I was raised by a proud feminist, and I’m raising two daughters to also be proud feminists.

When I graduated from high school, my dad gave me a fully stocked toolbox. When a friend in college got a flat tire and came into the dorm saying, “Can I get a guy to come help me change my tire?” I pulled myself up to my full and towering 5 feet and said, bristling with indignity, “Kirsten, I will change your tire.” And I did. The summer I was 21, I made extra money by putting together office furniture for my university, and that same summer, I ended up driving a moving truck from Columbia to St. Louis because I was the only person in a group of guys who knew how to drive a stick shift. When our garbage disposal clogged last year, I got under the sink, took apart the P-trap, and fixed the darn thing myself. (The sense of visceral triumph I felt from this moment was probably on par with running a marathon or enduring natural childbirth, neither of which I am ever going to experience in my lifetime.)

So yeah, I’m a proud feminist. I’m also a boldly live-and-let-live type. But every person, every belief, every ardent and well-intentioned righteous stance has a line. My line, as I discovered today, is about 1-millimeter long and attached to the ass-end of the wasp that somehow found its way into my office.

 “WE HAVE TO EVACUATE!” I yelled to my officemate, another proud feminist. “IT CAN SMELL OUR FEAR!”

And we fled borderline hysterically out into the hallway while our male coworker intervened, trying (and failing) to take the wasp out alive. He ended up bludgeoning it with a hardback book after whispering, “Sorry, little guy.”

“Are we bad feminists?” I asked my officemate as I bundled the wasp corpse up into a tissue, still hyperventilating a little bit.

 “No,” she said. “We’re just people who don’t like wasps.”

I think that’s fair. We are not large, but we contain multitudes, OK?

Ruby likes rough-housing, science, cheerleading, fashion, volleyball, and fart jokes. Georgia likes cars, her toy rocket ship, baby dolls, the color pink, and fart jokes. I can do basic plumbing, but I’m freaking terrified of bugs, and I also have been known to laugh at the occasional fart joke.

Feminism – which somewhere along the way got turned into a dirty word, which I refuse to accept – means that we’re all free to have our own preferences and skills. 

I realize that this thesis statement sounds very much like something from a high school sociology paper – but I’m almost 36, and I’m still figuring this out for myself. Bear with me. 

Trying to pinpoint exactly what defines “feminism” in 2016 is an exhausting semantic loop that involves drawing heavily not only on “Song of Myself” but also on 1997’s “Bitch.” (really, I just wanted an excuse to listen to it – such a great song). But ultimately, I’m not going to wrestle with it too much. 

I’m just going to live my life and raise my girls and sip white wine and eat chicken wings with my fingers and take out the trash and go to tea and work a full-time job and plunge the toilet and get a pedicure – and run screaming away from wasps.