*disclaimer: this post is on a topic that is quite different from what I normally post, and is completely my own opinion. I respect all opinions on this topic, even those not similar to mine, and I want you to respect my opinion as well.*
I call myself a lot of things. I am: loud, a Stage Manager, organized, sleep deprived, a procrastinating overachiever, creative, and a lover of all things Disney. One of the things that I don’t tend to connect to myself, which I very much am, is a Feminist.
Don’t get me wrong, I am a proud Feminist and I always have been, but I just never really connected the word Feminist to myself when describing myself.
Yesterday in one of my classes, the Wellness center on campus came into to give a presentation on hook ups. At one point in the presentation they got a little off topic and asked “who here is a Feminist?” Everyone hesitated. We all did the awkward, I can raise my hand but nobody else is… dance. After a few seconds I took a breath and raised my hand straight up. The girl sitting next to me did the same.
Nobody else in the room moved.
The presentation moved on.
What? I was bewildered. “Oh come on,” I muttered to the girl next to me, and she laughed.
The truth is: I know that at least half of those students in my class do identify as a Feminist, as I have had personal conversations with them on the topic as well as seen their posts on social media regarding it.
So why were they so afraid to stand up and declare that they want Women to have equal rights?
Banning the “F-Word”
Feminism has been given a really bad rep lately. I understand the misconception: I can see why people think that it could be a negative thing. Many people think that Feminists are men-hating, men-shaming, slut-shaming, and “bossy.”
The truth? Women just want rights. I actually recently wrote an essay on this topic, titled “Girls Just Wanna Have Rights” after the Cyndi Lauper song “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” which my teacher loved.
The definition of Feminism is this:
The majority of Feminists are not fighting to overpower and oppress men, they are simply fighting for their own oppression to end. “Equality to men.” Women are still not paid as much as men, even in the US, nor given the same chances to job opportunities nor often taken seriously as political candidates. Feminists simply want equality for themselves, not the inequality of men.
TIME recently released an online poll voting for “Which Word Should be Banned in 2015?” Among these words were some such as “turnt” “bae” “literally” “obvi” and “yaaaasssss” which are all slang words often used by teenagers as a phase. Included in this list of words to be banned: Feminist.
The description that follows says “feminist: You have nothing against feminism itself, but when did it become a thing that every celebrity had to state their position on whether this word applies to them, like some politician declaring a party? Let’s stick to the issues and quit throwing this label around like ticker tape at a Susan B. Anthony parade.”
If more and more celebrities are proudly stating that they are a Feminist, chances are that this is something we should stand behind and support. This makes it sounds like being a Feminist is as much of a phase as using the word “bae” or “turnt” in conversation.
I am: A Feminist.
Since these incidents occurred (in my classroom and in TIME) I’ve gone through and looked at myself and realized that I don’t proudly claim that I am a Feminist: which I am.
I believe that women are strong, and deserve to be treated as such. I believe that women should be given an equal opportunity to jobs, earn equal wages, and many other things that we are currently denied. This alone (as I am also a Feminist for many other reasons) makes me a Feminist.
There is no point is being ashamed of that, of not raising my hand in a group of people when asked if I believe women should be treated fairly.
As I am typing this post I am also going through my social media and my about me page and adding “Feminist” to the list of things that I identify as.
I am me, Dani: loud, a Stage Manager, organized, sleep deprived, a procrastinating overachiever, creative, a lover of all things Disney, and a Feminist.
How do you feel about TIME wanting to ban the word “Feminist”? Do you proudly identify as a Feminist?
*disclaimer: I am very open about other people’s opinions and if you want to share a disagreeing opinion in my comments please feel free to do so. this is a safe place and you will not be attacked or judged for your opinion, as I hope you do not attack or judge me for mine.*