“I’m a feminist. I’ve been a female for a long time now. It’d be stupid not to be on my own side” – Maya Angelou
There is an incredible misconception about what being a feminist means. It’s all too often thought of as being a dirty word or a man-hating agenda – all of which are far from the truth. Simply put, being a feminist is the equality among the sexes: socially, politically, legally, and economically. Of course, just like in anything, there are extremists who take it to another level that can distort the real meaning so that then it becomes the only thing people know it to be.
I am proud to be a woman. Sure, there are higher risks when it comes to being a woman. But we are in the midst of a political revolution. It’s easy to think that the nation has taken steps backward since the 2016 presidential election, and in some ways, we have. In spite of that, we are using our voices louder than ever like with the Women Marches and the teenagers speaking out about gun control in light of the horrific Parkland shooting.
Women are pretty freaking amazing and honestly, you wouldn’t be here without them. So, here is a small fraction of my personal reasons why I’m a feminist:
- Because I’m constantly looking behind me when I’m walking alone at night and in daylight.
- Because feminism still has a negative connotation.
- Because “boys will be boys” is still a legitimate excuse for inappropriate behavior.
- Because Donald Trump literally said he walked in on naked teenagers during a pageant and said it was okay because he owned it. He has been accused several times of sexual assault and he is still the president.
- Because human and sex trafficking is still an epidemic.
- Because young girls are being forced into marriage but denied the right to education in other countries.
- Because women are shamed for wanting to be a mother and a wife. I vividly remember being accused of not being a feminist because I want to be married and raise children. And on the other hand, women are shamed for not wanting to be a mother and a wife.
- Because women are paid less than their male counterparts.
- Because men are praised for having sex and women are shamed for having sex.
- Because I believe that a person’s preferred pronouns should be respected.
- Because clothes are still the main reason why women are blamed for being raped rather than blaming the rapist.
- Because men are made fun of for wearing makeup.
- Because abstinence in schools is the only form if any, of sex education as opposed to safe sex, and failure to teach safe sex for the LGBTQ+ community.
- Because women have to pay an absurd price and taxation on pads, tampons, etc. and condoms are given out free in places.
- Because men are apprehensive to call themselves a feminist even if they believe in it.
- Because when I was a senior in high school, I was walking into one of my classes and a boy decided to hit my butt and I was too afraid to say anything because I couldn’t prove that he did it. And so, I sat there mortified and angry.
- Because no matter what a woman looks like, confident or not, she’s going to be shamed for that.
- Because of the fact that male nurses and stay-at-home-fathers are made fun of.
- Because the government is telling women what they can and cannot do with their bodies.
- Because women are asked if they’re on their period when they express anger.
- Because little boys are told to “man up” when they express emotion and told they do “[blank] like a girl” as an insult.
- Because rape and abuse jokes are still told.
- Because women are shamed for breastfeeding their child in public.
- Because society teaches women on how not to get raped rather than teaching people not to rape.
- Because women are badass and unstoppable.
Women are incredible and have fought unapologetically hard for centuries to get to where we are now. Let’s celebrate women today and every day. Be a lady that helps your fellow ladies, and continue pressuring the media, the government, and the world for progress.
What’re some reasons why you’re a feminist or why you don’t prefer to call yourself a feminist?