Why I am a Feminist

I read a couple things here and there about feminism, either for and against, so I wanted to tell a little story about my click moment(s).

It all started when I was kid. I was a weird kid just starting school: First Grade to Sixth. I would wear overalls, corduroy pants and skirts, and some other crazy out-of-fashion clothes that no one would ever think of wearing. I wasn’t your typical girl. When is a girl who age ever really “typical” I mean, geebus, I was like what 5 to 12 years old! When was being interested in boys or dating ever my priority then? Well, I guess I was screaming the “I am the Queen of Weird” because three boys just had to bully me.

That’s right, three bigger boys who would all hang out together and make fun of me: a very small weird girl.

None of the girls would bully me. In fact, they were much friendlier to me than anyone. Although the girls would alienate each other from the most popular group which sucked too. Still, I wished I was a boy then those three boys wouldn’t bother me so much and be my friend (maybe?). It just seemed much easier to be a boy than a girl because as a girl I had to be pretty, I had to be nice, I had to be quiet, and I had to “look” like a girl. In the back of mind, I knew I wasn’t doing anything wrong.  I was me. All this was who I am. Since then I haven’t really thought about my experiences with bullying by bigger boys but what I remember is that one of them would say something to me and because I have a speech impediment, they would laugh at me when I replied.

I always knew that nothing was wrong with me and with that realization I found something in me called strength. In Sixth Grade, I became interested in school more and my grades went up. Then I went to a science summer camp, which was completely awesome!

Later in life, I discovered feminism. Feminism is the belief and movement for and of equality (that’s it). Everything became clear. I learned about gender roles that can hurt women as well as men. With them, we’re told to act, dress, and be the way that we tell you to be. I learned that laws are made to hinder women’s rights and should be fought against, that there are clinics that tell health misinformation to abortion-seeking women, and so much more.

Because I was bullied by boys, I get scared of men. I think I have a good reason for this but I am never outright mean to them or think that they all suck (or something to that affect). A few boys made fun of me when I was really little not when I was in High School. I eventually got over it even though the thing was completely unfair for me. I don’t have to like people when I first lay my eyeballs on them especially people who are intimidating.

As a feminist and a woman, I don’t hate men. Of course I don’t hate men, I am in love with one of them! I just don’t let them in as easily as other women do. I don’t give out my heart willy-nilly to just any Joe-schmoe. I have to think long and hard about loving another person because I have to trust them, I have to give all I have to them, and I have to love them. Life has taught me a lot and one thing is certain: not everyone can be trusted. (This part wasn’t really about feminism but about me and one of the biggest pervasive rumors about feminists)

But wait, this whole woman-empowerment thingy didn’t just happened over night. It was a long process of change. I read magazines, websites, and wrote things on my blog. It was good to know that there really wasn’t anything wrong or weird with me in the beginning. It was them that was the problem-they got their kicks from me.

Feminism became a part of me over time. I learned that I am okay the way I am. If people don’t understand me when I talk, they shouldn’t be talking to me in the first place. I shouldn’t have to be a certain way. I shouldn’t have to compare myself to that other affair. I shouldn’t have to hate my acne or my long hands and feet because pretty girls don’t have acne or crazy long feet. I don’t care what you think of me, my body, or how I dress. This is who I am: the weird girl with my corduroys on swinging on a swing, a weird High Schooler walking down the street with Goth pants and bright purple hair, or me now with a long skirt and geek glasses. I shouldn’t have to be another copy just so everyone else can feel better. I am comfortable being with me. That is what feminism taught me.

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12 thoughts on “Why I am a Feminist”

  1. Having been a radical feminist at the beginning of the movement in the 1960′s, it’s great to see it moving along. Changing, adapting, yet still here.

    1. There is nothing I love more than being a feminist. It is such a huge part of me, its not even a part but who I am intrinsically. It is adapting and changing into the needs and wants of the peoples.

  2. Aside from the phase that most children go through of avoiding the opposite sex, I cannot remember believing that the sexes were not equal.

    I identified a feminist after reading an essay by Michael Moorcock in which he set out why he was a feminist. Until then I had only experienced the slanted perspective that feminism was a movement designed to replace patriarchy with matriarchy.

    I ceased to identify as a feminist later because I found the label limiting: first, using it attaches people’s preconceptions to my arguments without adding value, so was acting against my aims; second, it sometimes limited my thinking to one species of inequality, in the same way that focusing on the issue of people being shot in the left leg is good but is only a subset of addressing the issue of people being shot.

    1. For me, it is more a source of empowerment and political slant. You cannot remember believing that the sexes were not equal; perhaps, things weren’t as apparent to you then to me. No offense. I’ve experienced sexism first hand, many times, because I am a female. I’ve been treated as a sexual object; I was sexually harassed many times. I’ve had cat calls sang out to me. I’ve been touched and manhandled by men whom I do not wish to be touched by. How many times have you been treated as a sexual object when it wasn’t appropriate?

      Laws are being made in which women must go through ultrasounds before they decide to get an abortion-since when did men have laws set before them when they want to get some kind of medical treatment?

      I have acne and so does my friend who is a guy. People tell me what kind of stuff to use on my face to get rid of my acne all the freaking time but my friend, BAM, tells me that no one has ever mentioned his acne to him unless he asks first. Because I am a girl, I should be thinking about my appearance but since BAM is a boy his appearance, in that way, doesn’t matter to him.

      These are just a few examples but I think you get the idea.

      You mentioned that feminism is a “movement designed to replace patriarchy with matriarchy.”
      Really? And you identified as a feminist? I don’t know what literature you were reading but were I am from, feminism is a movement or belief in the social, political, and equality of the sexes.

      Some people will argue that there are some radical feminists out there who feel very adverse to men. I don’t know any of them. So I do not wish to talk about them. I am not a radical feminist so I can’t speak for them. I can’t even speak for all feminists! I can only speak for myself. But in no way, far as I know, feminism isn’t about creating a matriarchy.

      If you feel don’t like feminism anymore, I’ve heard about “equalism.” Its rather new. I had an equalist talk to me on here, however he was very upset at feminists and from what I gathered from him, despised feminists and blamed them for fathers not getting their kids. As far as I know, feminists don’t concern themselves with giving mother’s custody to their children and as oppose to the father. Unless, the father was abusing them, then feminists would probably be involved. Last I heard about that, it was up to the court. What I am getting at is that equalism, even though there’s the word “equal” in there, has a paradigm too.

      Anyway, if you’re still interested, I have feminist websites. I don’t have any ties with them and I am not responsible for what they write.
      http://www.feministe.us/blog/
      http://feministing.com/
      http://msmagazine.com/blog/
      Also keep in mind that these blogs are aimed at feminists.

      1. From your reply I might not have explained my points clearly.

        While I cannot remember ever believing the sexes were not equal, I can certainly remember them not being treated equally and believe unequal treatment still occurs.

        Before identifying as a feminist I believed feminism to be about reversing the balance; after reading Moorcock I was aware it included equality. I do not identify with it because I identify with the wider issue of equality for all.

        In many countries custody is an example of bias in favour of women; so I am in favour of removing the inequality. However, I regard the bias as evidence of an old fashioned stereotype about nurturers vs providers and not a radical female agenda.

        Equalism might be as far from my viewpoint as I an envisage: it seems to argue we need to do more to protect the rights of a currently advantaged group; whereas I believe we would be better off moving beyond the question of sex altogether to focus on each person being equal irrespective of race, religion, sexual orientation, or shoe-size.

        1. “While I cannot remember ever believing the sexes were not equal, I can certainly remember them not being treated equally and believe unequal treatment still occurs.”
          Ah, okay!

          I see what you’re saying now. Thanks for your input. If I came off as as mean in my comment, I apologize. I feel very connected to feminism but I feel that I too should focus on equality or rather the inequality.

          Do you have a link to this essay? I am interested in reading it.

          1. No bother. Your comment would have been entirely reasonable had I been advocating increasing the rights of men.

            We read hard-copy back when I were young while clearing snow with our tongues. It is the Introduction to Moorcock’s The Opium General. I have had a quick look online and cannot find an upload.

  3. The first thing that i loved was the post title, Why am i a feminist!
    In the morning at office we had discussions on Feminism and the idea of Femininity. And femininity is nothing but a complex human construct advanced by the Media. You post was a fulfilling read. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Thank you for your comment. It more personal than political, I think I am going to post a part 2 on the political reasons why I am a feminist. Thanks for reading.

  4. Interesting story. I could be on board with you in regards to bullying and equality and what we could do to make the world a better place, but……………….then comes feminism.

    1. Do you have other ideas about feminism? Lots of people feel/think that feminism is somehow flawed and maybe it is. It is after all a very large movement that analyzes gender, politics, inequality, social constructs, work, women, men, rape, consent, empowerment, et cetera.

I would love to see what you think. It makes my day.

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