I’m A Feminist. So What?

I’m a feminist.

Many of the people I’ve surrounded myself with will cringe at this fact. They view feminism in most popular sense, which is an unfortunate degradation of the term.

Did you know that Third Wave feminism was actually meant to resolve the issue that the movement didn’t truly include queer women or women from an ethnic minority?

Instead, it’s become a bastardization of what people understand of feminism. Feminism, to me, doesn’t encompass hating men, or believing that women should control society. It isn’t about doing a “man’s job” just as well or some such bull.

The way that I define my take on feminism is to address the fact that we live in a world where consent doesn’t truly exist. I’ve been to countries, amazing as they were, where I also had to invent a fiancé back home who’d “allowed” me to travel. I’d also transfer a shiny ring I had to my fourth finger for the sake of my protection.

We live in a society where saying no and sticking to it are often criticized if that ‘no’ goes against the grain. A woman who doesn’t feel safe and refuses someone’s advances will be a bitch. The person being refused will feel entitled to react aggressively to rejection.

As a woman, I have both privileges and disadvantages. I’ve been fortunate enough to grow up knowing my power, but I don’t believe that many women do.

So yes, I’m a feminist.

I believe in holding space to say no, whether I’m refusing or being refused.

I believe in helping children see the world as more than girl and boy, black and white, pink and blue, or on any kind of binary. I believe that we all exist on a spectrum, be it sexually, gender, intellect, or color. Differences exist, one is no better than another. Diversity is there to push the boundaries of our learning, not to create a hierarchy.

My take on feminism isn’t to yell it far and wide.

It’s to change a paradigm.

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