Why I Am A Feminist

Hello, my feminist friends! This week’s blog post is yet another collab with Annabelle! Check out her blog here. After writing our last post where we asked other bloggers why they were feminists, we got inspired to answer that question for ourselves!

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But first, here’s a little sneak peak from Annabelle’s article: “I’m a feminist because I’m taught to never take drinks from strangers, as they could be roofied. I’m a feminist because I can’t walk home alone at night without worrying for my safety. I’m a feminist because men stare at my body instead of me.  I’m a feminist because once when I asked a guy to stop, he kept going because he was “almost there…….” 

 

Why am I a feminist?

I think it’s because I have never seen men and women as unequal. Thus, my feminist journey started at a very young age, I just didn’t have the words for it. I played outside with my brother and our friends, but I would also go inside and play with dolls. I was on sports teams from swim to flag football. I was, I guess, what you would refer to as a ‘tom-boy.’ Even the nickname itself is derogatory. I digress. I just never thought for a minute that I couldn’t do everything the boys around me could do– and I was right. As I got older and more politically involved, I’ve realized some things that make this belief even more pertinent in my everyday life.

First of all, the definition of feminism is: the advocacy of women’s rights based on THE EQUALITY of the sexes. WE ARE ALL EQUAL. However, it’s taken a minute for us to start making strides in that direction. For example, let’s talk about the wage gap. Women, on average, can do the exact same job as a man and get paid less money for it. Often, women in the work force are talked down to, interrupted, and not believed. Their skill sets do not matter, their education does not matter, their intelligence does not matter, all because we menstruate once a month. Now, don’t get me wrong, stay-at-home moms can still be badass feminists in their own right, because they are doing what empowers them! And guess what? Men can be feminists too.

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I remember asking my dad (who is a very conservative person) if he was a feminist, to which he responded, “I don’t know about all that.” I said, “Daddy, if I had the same exact job as you and I did it just as well, do I deserve to make the same amount as you do?” To this he responded, “yes.” “Then Daddy, you’re a feminist.” But little did I know feminism was so much more than that.

I am a feminist because I believe in equality. I do not stand for condescending motions, and I will not in the future. Ever since I was old enough to put pen to paper, I’ve wanted to be a journalist. No, I don’t want to be the pretty face you see on the morning news, I want to be the one traveling the world reporting on crime and politics. I want a “man’s” job. But here’s the thing, I’m going to get it. I’m going to be a journalist one day in some form, I’m going to be one boss ass bitch. The world better watch out for me. And you can bet, if I don’t get paid the same amount as my male counterparts, there will be hell to pay.

Secondly, we need to talk about rape culture. “She was asking for it.” “What were you wearing?” All of this derogatory slander coming from the mouths of the uneducated. From my time of working with Rape Response, one thing I’ve learned is that is it NEVER the survivor’s fault. People like Brock Turner are being set free after raping an unconscious woman behind a dumpster because Turner had “so much potential” and she was “asking for it.” NO. She was not asking for it, she could not even consent!

I am a feminist because I want to use my voice to change rape culture. I will not stand for this. When someone takes something so important to someone else away from them, without their permission, that in itself is horrible. Men can be sexually assaulted too. They are, in fact. I believe and support survivors. The conversation about rape culture has to change, starting with how women are looked at as sexual objects and not human beings. Screw you Brock Turner! There, somebody had to say it.

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I am a feminist because I menstruate. I have a period, shocker! I shed my uterine walls and bleed out of my vagina once a month! I am not dirty. I do value hygiene. I wear pads. And guess what? Not for a second is that an unnatural thing, not for a second is that something I should be ashamed of. I am a woman, I can have children because of this! (Hopefully not anytime soon.) I am not afraid to talk about PMS, and in fact, I celebrate when I menstruate! My body’s a temple, and I will treat it as such. Every day, we fight the stigma around menstruation.

I am a feminist because I don’t want to rely on a man for a damn thing. Not for money, not for safety when walking at night, and not for an excuse to keep other men from undressing me in their mind. I am a feminist because I believe that wearing a tank top to school should not mean a change in dress code because it’s “distracting boys,” but rather that it should mean stricter education for young boys about how to respect women. I am a feminist because I believe in empowering women. I am a feminist because I believe in equality, and I have never looked back.

FEMINISM IS NOT A DIRTY WORD. Say it. Love it. Embrace it.

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