"I am guilty of keeping my feminism in my pocket until it is convenient not to, like at poetry slams or my women's studies class. There are days I want people to like me more than I want to change the world."
I have always been a bit hesitant to identify as a feminist, in fear of judgment or ridicule due to stereotypes within this in-group. So for a long time I've kept my identity tucked away like it was hidden in a drawer. After my slow coming to identify as a feminist, it was never something that I vocalized.
Feminism as an in-group has a seemly endless amount of stereotypes that envelop and sometimes, overpower it.
Feminism is only well received when it's wrapped up in a pretty package - like that 120-pound girl who just wants to stop body image stigma and eating disorders - it becomes less well received when it's the 170-pound girl with purple hair talking about on-campus rape. I get it, "that feminist" makes people uncomfortable, why wouldn't it?
As a feminist, I feel as I often have to make myself more palatable to the outside world - to tone down my views and make it easier for men (and sometimes even other women) to digest. Hard-hitting issues make people uncomfortable. I mean, who really wants to talk about FGM? It just makes people uncomfortable and God forbid anyone to feel uncomfortable.
But you know what? Maybe it's time to get uncomfortable.
If the birth of the #MeToo movement taught me anything, it's that speaking up and acting out is the most conducive to policy change and awareness.
So, instead of tiptoeing around subjects, we should open the discussion on those uncomfortable topics and maybe we'll actually get some shit done.