I called my mom, asking her if she thought that she had raised my two siblings and me to be feminists. She paused for a bit, thinking, and her response was, “Probably. I don’t think I had any sort of agenda in raising you. But I am very assertive, and I raised you kids to speak your mind, even if it was annoying at times.”
My mother and I get into clashes more often, I think, than either of us would like. We are both incredibly passionate people, even when we disagree. When we argue with each other, it is much like we are arguing with ourselves.
I don’t remember a time when I wouldn’t have called myself a feminist. That being said, the way I view my own feminism, and how that word is defined for me, has changed quite a lot.
When I was a junior in high school, I came across the term intersectionality. And it made so much sense to me. (see video below to hear Kimberle Crenshaw, who came up with the term, explain it herself).
Then I came out to myself as bisexual, and I realized that whatever my feminism was, it had to be inclusive of LGBTQ people, not only because I was one of them but because it is so badly needed. Just look at SB 101 in Indiana, making it legal for businesses to discriminate against LGBTQ people on the basis of religion. More recently, we have North Carolina banning trans* people from the bathroom of their actual gender.
Just this past year, I have finally come to accept that my gender identity is outside of the typical gender binary. I would say that I identify as agender/genderfluid. My feminism has to include not just women, but everybody. There’s a saying that goes, “support your sisters, not just your cisters.” Cisters, being a play on the term “cisgender,” which is when one’s gender identity and gender assigned at birth match up.
Just in the last five months, eleven trans* people have been murdered. One of them, Kedarle/Kandicee Johnson, was only 16. Like me, they were genderfluid. Sixteen is a year younger than my youngest brother. I can’t sit back and let that happen anymore. And in 2015, 21 trans* people were murdered, and 19 of them were people of color. If you still go around asking why people are shouting, “#blacklivesmatter!” then look at them. Ask yourself again if the U.S. doesn’t have a problem with racism or transphobia.
Recently, Ronan Farrow published an op-ed about the fact that the media ignores his sister Dylan’s account of sexual abuse by their father, director Woody Allen. Feminism must be open to survivors, and we cannot let horrible things be brushed under the rug because they are an artist, or a professor, or a father. My feminism must include Dylan, give her the space to speak and tell her story, and also must include Ronan.Feminism is an umbrella term. Feminism is Beyonce’s "Lemonade, it is a raised fist, it is body casting and self-love and fighting for the equal rights of all. I would say, yes, my mother raised me to be a feminist. She wants me to speak my mind. And I know that I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Bey says it best. (Source)