You told me that you believe feminism is "outdated", "past it's time" and "obsolete". You told me the wage gap doesn't exist. You told me that rape culture is a "bunch of malarkey" and you told me that sex trafficking doesn't happen. You asked for respect and gave none in return. You interrupted the people speaking after asking for people to debate your inflammatory argument. Let us not forget your yelling, aggressive body language and patronizing tone. You also claimed that you believe that women have equal rights and face no discrimination or unequal treatment in the United States. You told me that instead of wasting my time here it is my job to leave the United States and bring equality in other countries.
I am not writing this for you. I'm writing this for everyone who has heard you or someone like you express these sentiments. I am writing this because your words reminded me why I believe in feminism. You reminded me why I marched on January 21st. You reminded me why I want to create change in the world.
You reminded me that I live in a country where sexism takes a multitude of forms. Sexism does not only reside in stereotypes, but in our thought processes, ways of life, and socialization. You would vehemently disagree with the fact that I'm calling you sexist. However you chose to ignore the fact that our current national system puts women at a disadvantage. You don't believe that 1 in 5 adult women have been raped at some point in their life, despite the fact that multiple sources including the CDC have come to that same conclusion. You don't believe that women face employment discrimination or that sexual harassment is a common practice. You don't believe in the world women live in. You don't believe in reality.
You ignore the facts of the world around you. Whether that belief is because of your privilege, ignorance, or rudeness I don't know and I don't care because I know that I live in a world where women are not full equal. I live in a world where women are not always able to make our own reproductive health decisions. I live in a world where I have and will continue face harassment on the street. I live in a world where I carry pepper spray and know when to walk with my keys in between my knuckles. I live in a world where the system beats minorities and women back. I live in a world where mothers and fathers live in fear of sex trafficking, sexual assault and rape. I live in a world where I see inequality everywhere. I live in a world where I was taught to look over my shoulder when walking on the sidewalk. I live in a world that will give a man more money for the same work. So my reality and your sexism should keep me from getting out of bed in the morning, because why try when the cards are stacked against you? But that isn't how the game is played. I live in a world that is ready for change.
I can confidently say that I am not going anywhere. I will stand here, fist in the air, protest sign in hand until true equality is given to every human. So thank you, guy who told me that feminism is obsolete, for reminding me who I am, what I believe in and why I believe it. Thank you for reminding me to yell louder, stand taller and be stronger.