Feminist Questioning

Feminist Questioning

Why I choose to be a feminist.
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Why are we raising girls who grow into women who think that they need a man to define them, to protect them, to provide for them? I didn’t realize that somehow, overnight almost, we, as a culture, had gone back to medieval times, where women needed a man at all times.

What happened to the fury, the want, the independence that our ancestors fought for? What happened to the trailblazing? When did that fire die? The rally in Times Square, are those forgotten? The freedom of the sixties, where we had the freedom to be yourself and love who you want, where did that go? Is the ambition left behind for us to once again stay at home to bear children, cook, and do housework? Certainly not.

People ask me why I am a feminist, with their lips curling downwards at the word, as if it is dirty. Are you gay, they will ask. Do you hate all men, they continue to question. No, I answer, I just want some to have the same opportunities as men. They will retort the women do have the same opportunities as men. Yes, we may have the same opportunities, but we do not have the same chance of achieving those opportunities, of continuing our ambitions, of not being discriminated the whole long while. For every dollar that a man makes, a woman, doing the exact same job, is only making 74 cents. Why is that? Are we weak? Certainly not, because we are strong. Are we emotional? Yes, but that allows us to connect with the world and people all around us. It allows for us to feel what others might not and to be able to freely communicate these emotions. Then why be a *hushed whisper* feminist.

Me, being a feminist, means and says that I will not give up. I want to see the separation and cultural boundaries between men and women dissolve. Workplaces, life styles, and our culture would be equal. Stay-at-home dads would not seem so crazy and radical. Women and men would make equal amounts of money. Boys and girls wouldn’t be limited to play with certain toys and only watch certain shows. This is the ideal world, but how could we possibly move towards this point?

The most obvious answer to this complex question is to stop sexist stigmas that are holding us back. Saying lines such as “men don’t cry” or “she’s being overly emotional about nothing” would end. What will this do, one might ask? This will allow us to stop being divided by restrictions that are confining us. This will us to be humans who feel things and not have to hide it. Possibilities and will awaken and our equality will be at our fingertips.

Why have gender equality at all though? Wouldn’t that confuse people, sexuality would become confused? Say that you are a parent to a pair of maternal twins, a boy and a girl. Raised in the same environment, schooling, and values, with the same work ethic and ability to achieve. They go into the same field of work at the same office place. This is the best example of inequality that can be easily explained. The girl does the same amount of work as the boy, but doesn’t make the same amount of money. Instead, she gets paid less, does the more “womanly tasks” around the office (cleaning up small messes, bringing sweets to meetings, and decorating for office parties), and is sometimes sexually harassed at times even. Now, as a parent, you listen to your offspring tell you about these differences. Are you hurt for your daughter and tell her to fight against it or do you tell her that that’s just how the world is? Do you tell her not to worry about it because she’ll soon be married and not have to worry about working? These are just the small differences that can mean the whole world to some women.

A woman who has dated many men and goes on dates often is thought of as needy, slutty, and promiscuous. A man in the same situation is congratulated, clapped on the shoulder, and is thought of as “manly.” Why do we have two very different views of the same situation?

Some ask me where my feminist views come from, who inspired them, who raised me to believe like this? They come from being surrounded by a community of strong women, with sturdy faith, and who never gave up. These views also are inspired by my mother. She raised me as a single parent from the time I was five years old. Her faith never wavered, even as the Recession of 2008 hit us hard, and her having only a part time job. I can still remember sitting with her while telling me that anything is possible for women, that my education will one day become my most valued possession and that nobody will ever be able to take it away from me. I remember her telling me that someone’s history does not define their future and that you should never judge someone because of their past or how they look. All that matters is now and what you do with the days that you are given. She raised me around women who never thought of giving up and whose faith was always strong, no matter what got thrown at them.

My background in this amazing community is my inspiration, my reason, my everything for all that I believe in now. How could I be anything else. How could I let their stories go unheard? How could I let their cause not get carried on to the next generation? How could I let myself get carelessly passed on to a man, like business transaction? I can’t. That is why I fight for equality between genders. That is why I am a feminist.

Cover Image Credit: Barbara Freeman

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I'm A Woman And You Can't Convince Me Breastfeeding In Public Is OK In 2019

Sorry, not sorry.

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Lately, I have seen so many people going off on social media about how people shouldn't be upset with mothers breastfeeding in public. You know what? I disagree.

There's a huge difference between being modest while breastfeeding and just being straight up careless, trashy and disrespectful to those around you. Why don't you try popping out a boob without a baby attached to it and see how long it takes for you to get arrested for public indecency? Strange how that works, right?

So many people talking about it bring up the point of how we shouldn't "sexualize" breastfeeding and seeing a woman's breasts while doing so. Actually, all of these people are missing the point. It's not sexual, it's just purely immodest and disrespectful.

If you see a girl in a shirt cut too low, you call her a slut. If you see a celebrity post a nude photo, you call them immodest and a terrible role model. What makes you think that pulling out a breast in the middle of public is different, regardless of what you're doing with it?

If I'm eating in a restaurant, I would be disgusted if the person at the table next to me had their bare feet out while they were eating. It's just not appropriate. Neither is pulling out your breast for the entire general public to see.

Nobody asked you to put a blanket over your kid's head to feed them. Nobody asked you to go feed them in a dirty bathroom. But you don't need to basically be topless to feed your kid. Growing up, I watched my mom feed my younger siblings in public. She never shied away from it, but the way she did it was always tasteful and never drew attention. She would cover herself up while doing it. She would make sure that nothing inappropriate could be seen. She was lowkey about it.

Mindblowing, right? Wait, you can actually breastfeed in public and not have to show everyone what you're doing? What a revolutionary idea!

There is nothing wrong with feeding your baby. It's something you need to do, it's a part of life. But there is definitely something wrong with thinking it's fine to expose yourself to the entire world while doing it. Nobody wants to see it. Nobody cares if you're feeding your kid. Nobody cares if you're trying to make some sort of weird "feminist" statement by showing them your boobs.

Cover up. Be modest. Be mindful. Be respectful. Don't want to see my boobs? Good, I don't want to see yours either. Hard to believe, I know.

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He’s Not My President, And I’m Sorry That He’s Yours

I refuse to acknowledge him as "my" president, he doesn't deserve it.

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It's been about two years since Donald Trump has officially taken office and became your president. I say "your" because he is not my president and I refuse to acknowledge him as such. I refuse to associate this man with one of the most powerful titles because he does not uphold the standards of what it means to be president. Donald Trump is a failed businessman, WrestleMania participant, and T.V. personality, but he is no president.

In the past, we've elected leaders whose ideas and vision for this nation didn't align with mine, but Donald Trump is another kind of malevolence that I refuse to believe runs the United States of America. Go ahead, call me all the names in the book; snowflake, libtard, or whatever your petty, little heart desires—your president still incompetent and runs his platform based off of false hope, an abundance of lies, and a xenophobic agenda.

This man single-handedly fooled an entire group of people that the United States was going to build a wall at the southern-most border (as if there isn't already a wall there) to keep out "criminals" (undocumented immigrants fleeing their country in order to survive) and said Mexico was going to pay for it (which they never did and never will.) This entire plan was flawed from the beginning; it was founded upon hate and pure ignorance. I hate to break it to you, but this country was founded upon immigrants and that's never going to change.

Your president even had a temper tantrum and shut down the government for 35 days, he doesn't care about the citizens of this nation, and to be quite frank, he never did in the first place. He never will unless it benefits him in some way. We're talking about the same man who addresses woman like their objects, views minorities like criminals, opposition for the LGBTQ community, makes a mockery of disabled people, honestly, the list can go on and on. What makes you genuinely believe he cares about you?

President's Day was initially created to celebrate George Washington's Birthday but eventually was adapted to commemorate the presidency as a whole somewhere along the line. So this President's Day, as we reflect upon your President's legacy for what he's created thus far, I'm sorry. I'm not sorry he'll be remembered as one of the worst presidents to go down in history and I can't wait until this nightmare is over.

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