You Are Not A Feminist, But I Am, For You

You Are Not A Feminist, But I Am, For You

Whether or not you want feminism, you still need it.
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I am a feminist. And that is okay.

A fellow Odyssey writer authored the very controversial piece “I Am Not A Feminist, And That Is Okay” about two weeks ago, and I’m pretty much positive you’ve seen it floating around social media since then. Thus far, it has received almost 170,000 shares on the online platform, a feat not many can say they’ve achieved. Writers have responded, readers commented, both in support and in dissent. A majority of the contention and dispute involves some confusion on the history and purpose of feminism, in addition to the fact that her message, though claiming to be anti-feminist, aligns closely with the fundamental beliefs of the movement.

But what I want to say to her is this: I don’t know who you are personally, but reading your articles, I can gather that you are a very kind young woman and an eloquent writer. I sense that you, being a fellow writer, read the works of other writers with an open mind. I’m sure you’ve seen the articles and the comments, trying to convince you that what you wrote it not as accurate as you feel it is. I can also tell that you are a human being, and you are just as entitled to your words, your feelings, and your identity as the next person. I’m sorry the world jumped down your throat. I do not want to give you a history lesson. I do not want to tell you that you are wrong to feel the way that you do. I do not want to try to explain things. I do not want to ‘clear things up.’ I do not want to argue. But in the same way that you choose to actively not pursue feminism, I choose to embrace it. And in the same way that I listened to your reasoning, I need you to listen to mine.

SEE ALSO: 6 Movies You Must Watch If You Consider Yourself A Feminist

Feminism, for me, is about so much more than equal pay. In fact, seeing as I like to write and to travel-- I’m pretty much doomed with the whole ‘pay’ thing. Equal pay is only one topic on an entire spectrum of issues that affects so much more than just gender. My feminism is about equal opportunities. What is more important to me than money? Education. Safety. Health. Choice. I will fight for your right to fall in love and get married and start a family just as hard as I will fight for the next woman’s right to become a CEO.

Even though I am not religious, my feminism does not deny religion. It does not deny the values of the bible. It does not deny what God has taught you.

My feminism does not wish for women to exclusively ‘run the world,’ but it fights for a world where people don’t give a flying freak about whether or not women run the world. My feminism isn’t about removing traditional female roles, it is about saying that tradition does not have to dictate what you or me or she or he has to do.

My feminism is about giving a voice to people who have not had the opportunity to speak or an audience to listen.

My feminism is about equality, yes, but it is also about humanity, which you completely neglected to acknowledge in your article.

I am a feminist-- but I also want to feel loved. I want to be fragile and nurturing sometimes. I want to be strong and aggressive sometimes. I want to be taken care of, but I also want to be independent. I want to be loved. I want a family. I want all these things that you want, and yet I am a feminist. Our biggest difference lies here: I have a title. And with that title comes a support system of both men and women who want me to have all of the above, and more.

But in a way-- I get it. The title ‘feminist’ is met with many unintended connotations, and that is not okay. You don’t want to be a ‘feminist’ because that word is so powerful that it threatens people. You don’t want to be a ‘feminist’ because you don’t want to meet the expectations of the negative ‘feminist’ picture that the very people who are afraid of feminism have fought hard to paint. There is so much negative publicity around the word ‘feminism’, in fact, that people have actually argued to change the name to ‘humanism’ instead. Would you identify with humanism? Because it’s basically the same thing.

The difference is that while feminism often intersects other movements, it is not fair or just to take away the spotlight and the credit from fighting for women simply because some people do not like the word. People have made feminism a dirty word, but that does not mean women should have to give up one of the very few things that is actually about them. Feminism gives women a voice, even the women who choose to criticize it.

And I know that there are always the feminists who are branded ‘bra burners’ and ‘men-haters’. They are the most vocal and the most active and the most talked about because they are the angriest. However, if they are truly feminist, then trust me, they don’t want to tell you what to do either. If they tell you that you have to do or be anything that you don’t want to do or be then they have a very distorted view of feminism-- and to chalk feminism up to that very minuscule population is is the same as saying that all Muslims are like radical Islamic extremist terrorists.

In other words, you can’t.

I am a feminist for the young girls around the world who are forced into marriage at the ripe age of thirteen. I am a feminist for the one out of every five young women who are sexually assaulted in college. I am a feminist for the men who want to be stay-at-home dads but feel like they can’t, because society expects them to be career-oriented. I am a feminist for the lower class African American woman who has worked her ass off her entire life and yet still has to fear violence each and every day of her life. I am a feminist for the 13,000 women and children victims just in Nepal, that are sold into sexual slavery for a mere ninety dollars, and are forced to have sex with up to forty people a day. I am a feminist for the twenty-one innocent transgendered women who were unjustly murdered in 2015-- their only crime being that they were women. I am a feminist for the single mother, who works endlessly and sacrifices everything to make ends meet, and who doesn’t complain about it for even a second. I am a feminist for the young woman who wants to find herself a good husband and raise a family and submit to him completely.

I am a feminist for this much and more. I am a feminist for my friends and family. I am a feminist for my future friends and family. I am a feminist for my future daughters and sons. I am a feminist for you. I am a feminist for me.

And finally-- I’m sorry. Whoever taught you feminism got it horribly wrong. Whoever gave you the idea that you can’t be a feminist and want all of the things that you want at the same time should not be allowed to utter the word ‘feminism’ ever again. I’m scared that at some point, someone in your life allowed you to actively denounce feminism, and that the same person is encouraging others to think the same thing. I’m sorry that you feel like you have to reject the movement that wants the very best for you. I’m sorry that at some point in your life, feminism was made into a dirty word.

I am a feminist. That is okay.

You are not. That is okay.

Because I am a feminist enough for the both of us.

One day, I hope I won’t have to be.

Thank you.


The most important way we can help is to be educated and use our voices. However, if you are looking for more active ways to become involved, please check out some of the following links:

http://feministing.com/

http://www.state.gov/j/tip/id/help/ (Sex Trafficking)

http://www.thetaskforce.org/stop-trans-murders/

http://www.girlsnotbrides.org/how-can-we-end-child...

http://www.heforshe.org/en


Cover Image Credit: Medium.com

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6 Things You Should Know About The Woman Who Can't Stand Modern Feminism

Yes, she wants to be heard too.

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2018 is sort of a trap for this woman. She believes in women with all of the fire inside of her, but it is hard for her to offer support when people are making fools of themselves and disguising it as feminism.

The fact of the matter is that women possess qualities that men don't and men possess qualities that women don't. That is natural. Plus, no one sees men parading the streets in penis costumes complaining that they don't get to carry their own fetus for nine months.

1. She really loves and values women.

She is incredibly proud to be a woman.

She knows the amount of power than a woman's presence alone can hold. She sees when a woman walks into a room and makes the whole place light up. She begs that you won't make her feel like a "lady hater" because she doesn't want to follow a trend that she doesn't agree with.

2. She wants equality, too

She has seen the fundamental issues in the corporate world, where women and men are not receiving equal pay.

She doesn't cheer on the businesses that don't see women and men as equivalents. But she does recognize that if she works her butt off, she can be as successful as she wants to.

3. She wears a bra.

While she knows the "I don't have to wear a bra for society" trend isn't a new one, but she doesn't quite get it. Like maybe she wants to wear a bra because it makes her feel better. Maybe she wears a bra because it is the normal things to do... And that's OK.

Maybe she wants to put wear a lacy bra and pretty makeup to feel girly on .a date night. She is confused by the women who claim to be "fighting for women," because sometimes they make her feel bad for expressing her ladyhood in a different way than them.

4. She hates creeps just as much as you do. .

Just because she isn't a feminist does not mean that she is cool with the gruesome reality that 1 in 5 women are sexually abused.

In fact, this makes her stomach turn inside out to think about. She knows and loves people who have been through such a tragedy and wants to put the terrible, creepy, sexually charged criminals behind bars just as bad as the next woman.

Remember that just because she isn't a feminist doesn't mean she thinks awful men can do whatever they want.

5. There is a reason she is ashamed of 2018's version of feminism.

She looks at women in history who have made a difference and is miserably blown away by modern feminism's performance.

Not only have women in the past won themselves the right to vote, but also the right to buy birth control and have credit cards in their names and EVEN saw marital rape become a criminal offense.

None of them dressed in vagina costumes to win anyone over though... Crazy, right?

6. She isn't going to dress in a lady parts costume to prove a point.

This leaves her speechless. It is like the women around her have absolutely lost their minds and their agendas, only lessening their own credibility.

"Mom, what are those ladies on TV dressed up as?"

"Ummm... it looks to me like they are pink taco's honey."

She loves who she is and she cherished what makes her different from the men around her. She doesn't want to compromise who she is as a woman just so she can be "equal with men."

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I've Had PTSD, And I'll Be The First To Say I Did Not Need A Gun While I Was Sick

My opinion on gun control not from my political opinions, but from my experiences as a mentally ill person.

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On November 7th, 2018, a gunman armed with a .45-caliber Glock handgun walked into Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks, California and killed 12 people.

In addition to the 11 slain and 18 injured in the bar, the gunman killed a sheriff's sergeant responding to the 911 call before committing suicide.

The gunman was Ian David Long, a former U.S. Marine apparently suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

While all of the 307 mass shootings that make it onto the news make my soul ache, this one particularly hit home for me for two reasons.

One: I lived in California for about five years and had indeed spent time in the area.

Two: these atrocities were committed by someone of whom PTSD had gotten the better of.

Having had PTSD for 15 years myself, it baffles me that he had a legally-owned gun at all.

I know first-hand how much anger can develop when this disorder is left unchecked, and violence is the most delicious release from it all.

From self-harm to physical fighting in school, I looked for any way to curb my appetite for destruction. As soon as my body sensed an opportunity to expel some of my pent-up aggression on someone who'd even mildly taunted the beast, my brain would enter into a hazy fog of emotion and a nothing-to-lose attitude. My fight-or-flight was constantly engaged, and I really had never been much of a runner.

I felt like my temper was a bottle rocket that could be set off at any moment and I had next to no control over whether or not I reacted. I remember loving the power of people being afraid of me and relishing in my ability to win at all costs, especially if it were in defense of myself or someone who needed help.

Since the opportunities to let my feelings out physically were few and far between, my brain provided a platform for the rest of them without an outlet. The majority of my life, I was plagued with violent fantasies as much––if not more––than the sexual ones, which should've been my sole focus as a horny teenager.

In these fantasies, I would be defending myself and others from unknown assailants, escaping from situations where I was being detained as a sex slave, or else exacting revenge on someone who'd wronged me. Every movement of the altercation I would replay over and over again in my head until it was almost a memory.

These fantasies bordered on an obsession while I suffered from paranoia. Every waking and even unconscious moment was filled with the absolute certainty that someone was waiting behind the corner to physically assault or rape me, and I would not entertain the idea of letting that happen.

I used to boast that the next time someone attacked me, only one of us would come out of it alive.

I imagined these him-or-me altercations constantly—before I went to sleep, day-dreaming in class or else in places where I felt especially uneasy—and sometimes the story lines would continue on all week until they finished off with me emerging victorious.

Every fantasy would not be considered complete until I had won and gone insane. For some reason, my brain rationalized that as soon as the inevitable attack came and everyone became aware of it, my mind could finally be at rest.

These fantasies were so intense that I would have physical reactions to them. I was basically powerless to shut them down once my imagination got going, so I would sweat excessively, tremble with anticipation and sometimes even laugh out loud with the adrenaline they inspired. It got to the point where I could actually taste the iron in my mouth, as if my body was already preparing for the taste of blood.

This mindset didn't come without an intense fascination in weapons. My fantasies would include actual weapons, random items I employed in resourcefulness to defend myself or merely fighting to the death with my bare hands.

I collected the few I could afford at the time and ached for the days when I could own my own gun. I had never fired one, but I was entranced by the idea of owning the ultimate fighting utensil; an end-all to any threats that may come my way, with the power to take a life at the tip of my finger.

My gravitation towards violence ended after two years of recovering from PTSD. One day I realized I hadn't thought about it in a while, and just like that, the freakish obsession I'd harbored since childhood was gone.

I experienced all of this, yet the trauma that provided me with the disorder didn't have one single thing to do with guns.

So why on the Goddess' green earth did an ex-machine gunner, who developed his PTSD from shooting people, have legal access to one?

Though California does have a law asserting that families concerned with their loved ones' safety can request their guns be taken away for a period of time, this was not enough to spare the lives of those 12 innocent people that Wednesday night.

I shiver at the thought of what would've happened if I had gotten my hands on a gun when I had wanted one. So based on my expertise, neither Long nor anyone else with PTSD has any business owning a gun.

Who better to weigh in on these issues than the ones posing an obvious threat?

Yet, even after this testimony of how much I wanted to pull the trigger at one point, there will still be people who insist on loading the bullets and cocking it for me.

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