I Am Not Ashamed To Call Myself A Feminist

I Am Not Ashamed To Call Myself A Feminist

Feminism is not reverse sexism.
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Feminism: the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes.

For some reason, there has been such a stigma around feminism and anyone who associates themselves with it lately. Women definitely have more rights now than we did a few decades ago, but that doesn't mean the fight for equality is over. So many people think feminism means women want more power than men, or that they want the roles of the 1950s to be reversed, but that couldn't be further from the truth. Any legitimate feminist, myself included, will tell you that we want equality: nothing more, nothing less. Just for the record, this does not only account for women gaining more rights.

When people hear the term, 'feminism,' they often only think about how it will be of use to women. Obviously when feminism started, women had way less rights than men, but now that things are a bit more equal, feminism helps both sexes. Men are seen as tough people who don't have feelings, or at least shouldn't show any signs that they do. When I think about this, I am completely astonished. Men and women have different hormones, but that doesn't change the fact that everyone is human and has the right to embrace any emotion they are feeling. I hate that when a man cries, he is considered weak, or when a woman cries, everyone automatically jumps to the conclusion that it must be "her time of the month." This may seem crazy, but how about we let anyone, regardless of their genitals, feel any emotions they want.

"I don't identify as a feminist because I support equality." Feminism is not reverse sexism. Feminism is equality. The reason it is known as feminism is because of how extremely repressed women used to be. Things have leveled out to an extent, but there are still some inequalities that need to be fixed. Many years ago, feminism truly did only benefit women. Even though it now helps everyone, people don't always realize this and only support equality, not feminism. It blows my mind that in 2018, there are still women who don't consider themselves to be feminists. By doing this, you are literally saying you're totally fine with inequality of the sexes, but because of the stigma around the word feminism, you just don't realize it. Is there a difference between five $1 bills, and one $5 bill? No, so why do people still see a difference between feminism and equality?

In 1872, Victoria Woodhull became the first woman to run for president, and over 100 years later, every United States president has still been a man. There were a select few women who challenged society's norms and ran for president, but it is still true that the majority of presidential candidates have been male. In college, I plan to major in political science and go to law school afterwards. I want to be involved in politics in some way as an adult because I just find it interesting. My end goal is to run for president at some point, and while this sounds like the most generic goal ever, it's obviously possible, because someone has to do it, and at the rate our country is going, it just might be possible for me to be the first female president. I truly don’t understand how we go from almost taking a huge step in the right direction and having our first female president, to electing one of the most sexist, bigoted, and arrogant men I have ever seen in my life. I don’t know about you, but I am sick and tired of the misogyny we deal with on a daily basis in our country.

Feminists in history have worked so hard for the rights women have today, but if we let it end here, we are wasting everything they’ve fought for. We need to forget about the stigma surrounding feminism and continue to fight for equality. Remember, feminism doesn’t only benefit women. Feminists fight for women’s rights, men’s rights, LGBTQ+ rights, rights based on race, and rights based on religion. We fight against rape culture. We fight against body-shaming. We, as a whole, believe in equality, and people just being happy as they are. There is no need to not consider yourself a feminist unless you truly don’t believe in equality for everyone

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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Austin Alexander Burridge, Volunteer Advocate, Shares 3 Great Reasons to Volunteer and Help Others

Austin Alexander Burridge is an avid academic who studies Environmental Science at Winona State University and believes that work in the service of others is a key pillar to personal development.

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Sometimes it's easy for someone to adopt a "me, me, me" attitude. While focusing on oneself, a person may feel nice in the moment, but serving and helping others will bring lasting benefits. While there are many great reasons to serve and help others, there are three universal truths that resonate with volunteers around the globe.

Austin Alexander Burridge's 3 Reasons to Volunteer:

1. Accomplishment

Often, people fall into a trap of focusing on themselves when they are feeling down. Maybe someone did not get a job they wanted. Or perhaps a person gets dumped by an expected lifelong companion. Maybe someone feels they have underachieved after looking at Facebook and seeing great things a high school classmate has accomplished. When feeling down, helping others is a proven way to improve one's mood and attitude, and it can provide a sense of pride and accomplishment. The act of giving to those in need is an inherently good action and leaves people with a wonderful feeling of joy.

2. Gratitude

One can become more appreciative of life by serving others that have less. Whether volunteering at a soup kitchen, visiting the elderly at an assisted living center, or helping families after a natural disaster, service enables people to be grateful for what they have. Seeing people who have fewer advantages, especially those who are spirited and thankful for small things, allows one to realize just how fortunate he/she is in life.

3. Friendships

Volunteering is a great way to build meaningful friendships, not only with other volunteers but also with those who are served. One of the most profound and fascinating aspects of these relationships is how volunteers will learn from those served and vice versa. As these special bonds are built, they lead to impactful connections that last for years to come.

Of course, these are just a few reasons to volunteer and serve others. One can never go wrong by helping others as opposed to merely focusing on oneself. Volunteering invariably and inevitably contributes to personal growth, development, and satisfaction.

About Austin Alexander Burridge: Helping others has been of paramount importance to Austin, and as a part of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA), Austin gave back to the community around him. He also has participated in annual peanut butter drives, The Minnesota Sandwich Project for the Homeless and collected canned goods for local food shelters. Additionally, Austin has a passion for the environment, which he pursued when visiting the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador, and the Amazon Rain Forest while studying at the School of Environment Studies, which investigates ecological systems and their sustainability

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American Or Christian?

Can you really be both?

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This is a thought that has lingered in my mind for a very long time.

Personally, I hate news and politics. It's depressing and it seems like both parties (and people in general) just don't get it. Political conversation gets on my ever-loving nerves and literally gets me down in the dumps for the day.

I just simply don't watch it anymore. There is too much negativity.

That doesn't mean that I am uniformed. I am not advocating for ignorance or anything like that. I prefer to read and figure out my information from sites "in the middle."

As I was eating dinner with my wife the other day we started talking about the new Abortion laws in Alabama and Georgia. As a Christ-follower and a staunch defender of Biblical inerrant, I detest abortion.

Before you read any farther, you must understand something: This article is not about my defense of my beliefs regarding hot topics like abortion or homosexuality. I do not have the time to write about said topics now. I am just asking you to accept what I believe for the sake of the article.

But, anyway, these abortion bills. I can make a pretty good case that they are Constitutional because they are protecting the Life (one of the Rights given to American Citizens) from others. Yes, I know the arguments against said point but continue with me please.

This led our conversation to talk about Homosexual marriage, something that I am against as well. And not just because of Leviticus but because of the New Testament as well.

But, shaking my head, I said something that my wife seemed to agree with:

"As a Christian, I know it's wrong and I cannot agree with it. As an American, I see no reason why it should be illegal. Unless your choices infringe someone's Rights, you should be free to do what you wish (technically speaking)."

This is my dilemma. Well, actually it's not a dilemma. I know that I am a Christian before I am an American. I love this country greatly, and I know how blessed I am to be born here. For all the hate this country gets (and some of it is deserved) and all the problems we have (and we have a lot), we are shoulders above other countries in many ways. I am so thankful for all the men and women who have served to protect me and keep me safe. I'm thankful for a lot of things. And I am proud to be an American.

But my identity in Christ comes first. This is why I do not get into politics much. I don't really care at the end of the day. Because while America has been blessed, we still have work to do here. And this is not my forever home. This is not where I will spend eternity.

I try and respect everyone's opinions, and I earnestly try to love everyone, even when they trash and disrespect my beliefs and convictions. But I must put my call to Christ about anything that has to do with this nation. I will pray for ALL our leaders because I was told to do so (I prayed for President Obama when he was in office). And I will be here to support this nation. But I cannot put it above Christ's commands.

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