A true feminist is something different to everyone, but to me this is what a feminist looks like. Not once has a bra of mine been burn but yes I am a feminist. I believe in the equality of all persons, no matter the race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, gender, or sexuality. I am 100 percent not a "man-hater." The stereotypical feminist is a radical bra-burning, man hating machine, and that is not me. I have plenty of male friends and love them all, I just do not love the way in which our society has been structured to follow old, outdated, misogynistic beliefs about women and the positions and lifestyle they can have. I am just going to tell you about my how I believe I am a feminist as well as how I became one.

When I was growing up, I was in a household with more women than men. My dad has always been the main source of income for our family, and that is because my mom chose to be a teacher and when I was born decided to stay home for a little while. Growing up, I played with the gendered toys but since my brother is my closest sibling in age I would end up playing various "boy" games with him. I would play house and pretend to be a teacher, but never did I feel these were my only options. I was a weird child in that I liked chores I loved to sweep and wash windows. When I was younger I sometimes thought about being a window washer, which is a male dominated career. When I was really young I did not realize or notice the male dominated professions, they don't have a picture book for that. But as I got a little older in middle school I really wanted to do something that is a male dominated field. I never seriously considered this since I do not have the heart for it, but I did think about being in the military. I thought especially since I am under 5 feet that it would be nice to prove people wrong, as well as just increase the female population in the military.

So yes, my childhood did slightly reinforce some gender roles, but never was I told I could not do something. I know that some day I do want to be a mother that has always been something I wanted to be when I "grow" up. Although I want this job as a mother I know this is not my only purpose in life and it also is OK for other women not to want a child. There is nothing wrong with wanting or not wanting a child, and ultimately it is the woman's choice and everyone must respect that fact! Understanding this is often a struggle, even for me. I have known that I want to be a mother, and others not wanting that is confusing — but it also confuses me when others do not like ice cream. The fact is that although you may not understand you must respect what people choose with their life, no matter if ice cream is the most amazing thing in your life, know that it is not for everyone!

Being a feminist does not make me a crazy man hater. It makes me a woman who understands her rights and believes in protecting them not only for herself but for others. She believes in fighting for all equality across the spectrum and proving to those who believe I may be too emotional that I can get my job done.

Call me bossy, and I will take it as a compliment — I know you meant assertive and strong, like you would call any man. Call me a floozy, and I'll give you a high five like you would give your guy friends you call a player. Ask me to smile, and I'll ask you to tell me a joke because when you want your guy friend to smile you'd tell him a joke. Yes, I know my place but it is not under a man.