It’s been about 6 years since I first declared myself a Feminist.
My coming out process was fairly easy, bold, and comfortable. I first came out to my high school friends. Then I openly wore my Feminism loud and proud in college. Slowly, my professors found out and applauded me. Then my parents caught on and at first questioned my intentions, but realized I was still the same person.
I very much judge those who take my Feminism to be something negative. Those that were my friends in high school are no longer. Those that helped me to discover I am a Feminist in college are still my best of friends, my best of role models, the most wonderful people I know. Those co-workers who know I am a Feminist mainly accept it and congratulate me. many want information on how they can come out too. What a beautiful world!
What is feminism? Feminism is….equality. It is “the radical notion that women are human.” Feminism means challenging everybody around me to help women and men thrive equally, to acknowledge that we have the same potential, but to also embrace that we are inherently different. Do those differences hinder either sex? Sometimes. My responsibility as a Feminist is not to pretend as if women and men are completely capable of the same thing. The reality is that there are some things that women can do that men cannot (think childbirth) and vice versa (think pee standing up, comfortably). I’m joking a little bit, but Feminists know better than most that we cannot just say “women can do everything men can do and that’s why we’re equal.” We can’t. But we deserve the same type of recognition, the same chances, the same benefit of doubt. We deserve to go into an office, work hard, and not be judged based on how short our skirts are or what color lipstick we have on. Men are not judged (immediately) based on what color pants they have on or how many kids they have in an office, so why should women be held to those judgements?
Before I go off into a rant, I’d like to leave my post like this: Feminism has come a long way, but has a long way to go still. Feminism is not just for women. It is not just for the middle class. It is no longer just for college women. It’s time for men to speak up for Feminism, for moms, grandmas, uncles, cousins, and dads to stand up for Feminism and finally come out of the closet for those they love. It won’t hurt, I promise. Some judgements may sting, but that’ll just help to filter out whose morals don’t align with yours. Yes, I view Feminism as a moral issue.
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