I, along with many of the wonderful women in my life, am a feminist. I’ve seen a lot of posts lately, especially from women, who have a very negative view of feminism and what they think it means.

If you are a women who has never felt disadvantaged because of your gender, good for you. I’m truly happy for how far we’ve come. You have many amazing women who came before you to thank for that. I happen to be quite privileged too, being white, being in a middle class, being American. But here’s the thing, it’s about way more than us.

Feminism is about caring for women whether it be across the world or in your own neighborhood.

It’s about women who have to walk home from their night class with pepper spray in their purses. It’s about women who have a drink at a party and are blamed for their assault.

It’s about ensuring abusers are brought to justice and serve a fair sentence for their crimes, no matter their race and social class.

It means support and empathy for men who have been assaulted or abused and are afraid to speak out because society says that only happens to women.

It’s about moms. Moms who stay home. Working moms. Single moms.

It’s about women who don’t have or want children.

It is about trans women, old women, lesbian and bi women, poor women, conservative women, and women of all religious backgrounds.

It’s about women of color, who are often excluded from the narrative, yet deal with the effects of misogyny even more.

It is about a woman’s ability to express herself through sexuality, clothing choice, and body image, without having those choices define her worth.

It is about women across the world who don’t have these rights to speak their mind, or to dress how they want, or love who they want at all.

It is about women all over the world who don’t have the same access to proper education and healthcare.

It is about women all over the world who face violence, at home or elsewhere. We want rights for them. We want justice.

It is about immigrant women, who come to America because of our freedoms. Because yes, we have come such a long way. Let’s keep moving forward, not backtrack.

It is not about whining and playing a victim. It is about being aware and striving for a better world.

It’s not about hating men. It’s about demanding respect.

There is always more we can be doing and more we can learn. The first step is simply listening to people who are different from you.

If you marched for the rights of all women, thank you. If you took a few minutes to read this, thank you. If you have been privileged enough to not deal with many of the effects of misogyny, I encourage you to have a conversation with another woman outside your own circle. If you think I’m an idealistic, bleeding heart liberal, you probably aren’t wrong. If you have ideas and suggestions for implementing positive change, post a comment!