As you may have guessed from the title of this post, I’ve decided to do a new weekly post regarding feminism. I haven’t been great about blogging regularly, and hopefully this will help keep me on a better schedule. Also, feminism! Yay!
Some of you may be cheering with me. Others may be groaning. That’s ok. My hope is that this first Feminism Fridays post will turn your groans to cheers as well. It will be less about feminism in general and more about my own experience with feminism. So stick around, please, and maybe I’ll change your mind about what it is to be a feminist. For those of you who aren’t groaning, feminism! Yay!
So without further ado, here is the first weekly Feminism Fridays post.
I didn’t always consider myself a feminist. In fact, I used to actively disengage with the word “feminism.” It was not something I wanted to be associated with. When I was younger, the only thing I knew about feminists were that they hated men, they took themselves too seriously, they had no sense of humor, and I didn’t like them. I unfortunately did not have access to the kind of information that would show me what feminism is really about. Yes, the Internet has all that info, but I wasn’t looking to learn about feminism because no one told me that what I thought I knew wasn’t the whole story.
When I finally got to college, I began to learn more about feminism and women’s studies. I heard enough from peers and professors to actually look into feminism and see what it’s all about, and, gradually, I began to identify as a feminist.
Now, I’m not saying that there aren’t feminists out there who hate men, who take themselves too seriously, and who have no sense of humor. They don’t however, make up the majority of feminists, just like not all whites are white supremacists, not all Jews are doctors and lawyers, and not all blondes have more fun. The bra-burning, armpit hair-bearing, men-hating feminists are the stereotype. (Just to be clear, there is nothing wrong with bearing armpit hair. You probably shouldn’t burn bras though. They are expensive. You also probably shouldn’t hate men. Sometimes they just don’t know any better.)
The problem is that there is not enough education about what feminism is, at its core, actually about. Even as I write this, I’m still not one hundred present sure what constitutes a textbook feminist. I’m not sure anyone does. But that’s part of feminism. It’s giving women the opportunity to choose who they want to be and how they want to act. Feminism is being able to not shave and show the world that woman don’t need to conform to social standards of beauty. Feminism is being able to shave and show the world that this isn’t for the men who find it beautiful. It’s for us. Feminism is giving women the power to choose. It’s raising women up to know that we are beautiful, we are strong, and we are good enough.
I hate that I didn’t learn more about feminism before college. I hate that I didn’t have many women in my life to teach me that women are powerful, and that we can do anything we set our minds to, even if society doesn’t think we should. I hate that young girls are taught to be pretty instead of smart. I hate that they’re shown how much society values their sexuality more than their minds. I hate that this is still a problem.
Feminism is not something to be feared, like I once did. It is something to embrace. It is something to teach the next generation. We as women have a duty to show young girls what women can do, to show them that we are not objects. And men have a duty to teach young boys that women do not exist for their pleasure, and that strong women do not immaculate them. We all have a duty to embrace feminism and teach future generations what equality looks like.
I’m not saying anything that hasn’t been said before, but I’m saying again because no seems to be hearing it yet, not really. So help me spread the message, and welcome to Feminism Fridays.