I am a feminist. I think that little girls should be told exactly how tough, strong and capable they are. I think that girls should be able to fix cars, but I also think that boys should be able to play with dolls. Being a feminist is about the equality of both genders in the sense that each is treated with respect and given the same opportunities despite being born a boy or a girl.

That being said, there are certain privileges that are only made available to men. I do not wish for these privileges be taken away from men but simply offered to women as well.

When I discuss the unfair advantages of being born a girl, I am bombarded with phrases like, “If you were an equalist, you’d see that men have it rough too.” Equality is what I strive to promote; therefore having the word “equalist” thrown in my face is hurtful. When someone says the word “equalist” I can’t help but think of “#AllLivesMatter.” Of course every life regardless of gender is important deserving of respect and dignity but it is important to realize that some people face struggles and discrimination that others do not. In no way does this mean that the people with privilege are bad people, and I am not attacking you because you have done nothing wrong. However, you can make the wrong decision to ignore the particular difficulties of certain groups of people. Therefore, when I write about the discrimination against women, I am not blaming or attacking men.

I am a feminist and I am what some would call "girly;" I like to wear dresses and in no way does that make me less of a feminist than someone who does not. Being a feminist, I never discriminate against another woman fighting for the same ideals and goals. I believe that women should work together to achieve the power and respect we deserve. I am tired of being told that I don’t look or act like a feminist because I am; and I believe that feminism should not have a specified “look” because it fights for all women.

I am a feminist and I am not ashamed. I should not be ashamed for wanting to change the world and the way women are viewed. I am a feminist because I have women close to me who play video games, and they should be allowed to do so without it being “odd for a girl” or receiving harassment. I am a feminist because I have women close to me in STEM fields, and they should be allowed to do so without being constantly doubted and questioned on their abilities. I am a feminist because I have women close to me who live an exuberant, independent life without children or a husband, and they should be allowed to do so without being pitied or seen as selfish. I am a feminist because when I went to high school I was pulled out of class for disturbing my male peer’s education with my shorts; and then when I went to college I carried my keys between my fingers so that they wouldn’t disturb mine.