I Am A Proud Feminist, But I Used To Be Ashamed About It

I Am A Proud Feminist, But I Used To Be Ashamed About It

How I learned the real meaning of being a feminist

fem·i·nist, feminist: noun

1. a person who supports feminism.

fem·i·nism, feminism: noun

1. the advocacy of women's rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men.

Based on those definitions, I am a feminist. And I am not ashamed to be one. But if someone asked me if I was a feminist back when I was 15 or 16, I denied any relationship with the word.


Because to me, at that time, it meant being a "man-hater," a power-hungry activist, someone who was assertive or demanding. Someone who wanted to be better than men, or to make them seem obsolete. It's clear to see that at that time, I had no idea what it truly meant. I'm happy to say I know better now.

I am a feminist because my rights should be equal to men. I shouldn't have to work twice as hard to make less. I want to be a mother someday and I want my children to feel safe and proud of who they are in the world.

Because I was a college student who had been told that when I traveled abroad for a semester and got verbally and physically harassed, I should have just let it happen. And now, as a post-grad searching for a full-time job, I've been asked why I don't go into a field "more suited for me as a woman."

No one would dare say that to my male counterparts. But to me, as a woman? I've lost count of how many times it has happened to me. And a lot of times, I've let it slide. But not anymore.

I shouldn't have to walk in fear to my house every night when it is dark or feel compelled to call someone, anyone, on my phone just in case something happens. I have to clutch my keys in my pocket and remember the self-defense moves I learned on the Internet, just in case. I shouldn't have to worry if I'm being too loud or assertive in front of my male counterparts.

But more importantly, no one, regardless of gender identity, should have to worry about these things. This is what I am fighting for. I'm not fighting to be "better than men". I'm not fighting to have all of the power. I'm fighting for equal rights for everyone

I am a feminist. And while I used to be ashamed of the word, I am no longer so.

And if you have a problem with it, that's fine. I'd be more than happy to discuss those problems with you.

But please know that I am not planning on changing my ideas anytime soon. I am proud of who I am. And I hope one day all women can be proud of who they are too.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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The Wrong Name Game

That's not my name, but it's close enough.

I've been aware for many years that my name is not something people hear every day. And because of this, I decided to keep a mental checklist of the most common and exciting names people have come up with instead of asking me what mine is again, as well as responding to anything that sounds similar. Keep in mind that some of these incidents happened at Chick-fil-a because my voice has a lower tone and I'm naturally quiet. But I'm sure I'm not the only one who has had this problem.

Starting with the most common mess up, a lot of people have called me Audrey. And I understand why. Audrey is the famous, sporty cousin to Audra. Am I categorizing my name as the nerd or outcast? No. But you hear Audrey a lot more, and even see it on nicknacks, unlike my experience of being disappointed at gift shops.Therefore, it's my number one.

The next has happened at least five times, and I'm not sure how, but different people have come up with Audrea. Maybe they heard the 'a' at the end, and it clicked. If this was a semi-common name, I might understand, but I've never heard the name before. So, upon hearing this a second time, I figured someone had this name, and I just never went to school with someone with it. And every time I hear it now, I respond anyway.

Then there is the fact I've been called Ann. Not only is it shorter than my name, but it sounds nothing like it. As much as I love going to Chick-fil-a, this one was a shocker. I had to do a double-take before realizing that they were referencing to me. And after acting like it didn't matter, even though I was confused, this one immediately made my list.

The last one is I've seen on my friend's phones, apparently put in the day we exchanged numbers: Adura. According to one of my female friends, she never thought about changing it. And I don't insist either. I know it is on more than one of their phones. I've probably done the same to others when I took their pronunciation and used that to spell their names out. So, honestly, I can't be upset.

This slight issue is something I'll have to face my entire life, even if I hold adults to a higher standard than kids with what I go by. If my cousin could say it when she was barely school age, it's probably not that hard of a name. But that's my personal opinion, isn't it? Everyone has issues with their name in some way, and that will be a trend for the rest of time. I just have to live with it.

Cover Image Credit: unsplash.com

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Black Girl Magic

The Power of Women

2018 is the year of change. The old societal rules that have existed to keep people down can no longer exist. One group that has been affected is black women. As one of the most under-represented groups in society, this year has become about showcasing the power of black women.

The movement isn't about bringing down other women, in fact, the black girl movement has come in allegiance with the MeToo and TimesUp movements. Black women in Hollywood have rallied around each other and help each other grow and showcase their talents.

Every day now the world is sent into shock over another "black" film turning into just simply a "blockbuster" film. From Get Out to Black Panther, and most recently A Wrinkle In Time there is no denying that black people can make films that appeal to a greater audience.

The female characters played by black women in films become heroes to the next generation who can now see themselves as leaders, but these actresses don't stop representing black women at the end of the film they bring this power into their real lives.

Lupita Nyong'o and Danai Gurira, two leading actresses in Black Panther, have continued to stand up and support other black women who are achieving great things.

Oprah Winfrey is one of the original icons for black girl magic because she was reaching success on tv and representing black women long before these movements.

Now she uses her platform to help support other black women and grow the empire. From acting and producing A Wrinkle In Time the largest budgeted movie with a black female director to showcasing people on her show.

She has had everyone from Elain Welteroth, to Yara Shahidi, and even Michelle Obama appear on her show to talk about their struggles in life, how they identify themselves, and where they want to see change not just for black women but for all of society.

Sorry men but the world stand on the backs of women. Women have run the world from behind closed doors for too long and we are finally making our debut. All I can do is stay true to who I am and hope to one day achieve a small portion of that success. I want to be able to surround myself with a strong group of people who understand and believe in the power of black girl magic.

Cover Image Credit: Photo by Tanja Heffner on Unsplash

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