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.