Yes, I’m 19 years old, and I am a feminist.
I will say this loud and proud. I will never be ashamed of calling myself a feminist. It is one of the fundamental parts of who I am, and I will always hold feminism as one of the most important things to me.
This wasn’t some big revelation for me years ago — it’s been a part of who I am for my entire life. It was only as I got older that I realized that what I felt had a word: feminism. The fight for equality between sexes. It’s been obvious from a young age how men and women aren’t equal: doctors and business CEOs are always depicted as men, while housewives and teachers are always depicted as women. Never in positions of true power. Even just looking at the president — it’s always been a man.
Something I didn’t understand then, and something I still don’t understand now, is how someone could just flat out not be a feminist. People act as if a feminist is a dirty word that they would never dare be associated with. Feminists are just viewed as crazy, men-hating women, often with other derogatory and offensive names to go with it. We're "nasty."
That’s literally not what feminism is. Sure, there are going to be some extremists who call themselves feminists and want to be above men, but that’s not what the whole group stands for. Feminism isn’t about hating men and wanting all of them to be destroyed-- it’s about advocating for equality between all sexes.
Equality. Not hierarchy.
Being proud of being a women is not at all connected to hating men. Being proud of all that you’ve accomplished in spite of the preexisting barriers is not at all connected to hating men. Being proud of who you are is not at all connected to hating men.
So why isn’t everyone saying they’re a feminist? Especially, why aren’t women comfortable standing up and saying to the world that they’re feminists? All that feminism stands for is the equality of sexes. It blows my mind to think that there are people out there who are complacent with the inequality that isn’t only present, but ingrained in our society.
Steps have been made in the right direction toward gaining equality. More women are starting to be taken seriously in positions of power, more discussions are being had in regards to feminism, more standards are being put into effect about how the world should view and treat women. People are being exposed earlier on to things different from gender norms; children are told that everyone can be a scientist or doctor or teacher or stay-at-home-parent. Not just men for some jobs and women for others.
Stereotypes and norms are disappearing, and that’s because more people are identifying as feminists and starting conversation about everything that is unacceptable in our world. How a person should look, act, say, do, eat, enjoy, and be is changing from what others think and to what they wants. If a woman doesn’t want to shave, then go for it. Throw away those razors and let your hair grow. If a man wants to wear a dress, then find one that makes you feel good and walk the runway. Destroy gender stereotypes. Change the norm. Work toward equality.
Feminism is only for the ultimate benefit of everyone, I don’t care what people say. A system that is unequal is not a functioning or stable system to live in. Till the day I die, I will proudly be a feminist. I will own it. It’s not an insult. It’s not something bad.
It’s something to be proud of.
Call me a nasty woman if you want. You'll just see how nasty I can get.