Why I Need Feminism

by Jules Spector

Jules Spector is the 14-year-old author of the blog Teen Feminist. She posted this list on Facebook and gave us permission to re-run it, because it’s awesome. Again, she’s 14. Remember that when you read #8.

People at my school have been tagging each other on Facebook to give ten reasons why they need feminism. I already posted this on my Facebook, but I thought I should share it with you all!

I Need Feminism Because…

1. I’m supposed to accept the fact that when I’m older, corporations won’t pay for my birth control, but they’ll pay for my male coworkers’ Viagra.

2. I’ve been taught self-defense in order to protect myself against rape, but people haven’t been taught not to rape.

3. I have to cover my legs at school by not wearing shorts in order to not “distract the male students,” but the “male students” haven’t been taught to respect a woman’s body and not let it “distract them from their studies.”

4. I have to accept the fact that, when I get a job, I will get paid 30 cents less per dollar than every man I work with who does the same job I do.

5. If I get married and have a standard wedding, my father will walk me down the aisle and hand me off to my husband or wife like I am property switching owners.

6. I am taught to not share my opinions and ideas, as it’s not “ladylike.”

7. My friends and I are catcalled on the street, and we’re just supposed to accept that and walk away.

8. I receive rape and death threats from people reading my blog, just because I’m speaking out against the patriarchy. I’ve also been called a “satan-worshipping lesbian dyke whore.”

9. I’m described as a “feminazi.” People literally compare the idea of feminism to the Holocaust.

10. Feminism creates a community of powerful women and men who share the same ideals. It’s so great to have a space like that where we can share ideas and thoughts that are accepted by everyone, and we can have interesting discussions.

Jules Spector is the 14-year-old author of the blog Teen Feminist, created to provide community and support for teenage feminists. She is a Teen Advisor for the United Nations Foundation organization Girl Up, which is dedicated to empowering girls in the United States, and helping girls in developing countries get the education they need. She has been recognized as a leading teen voice for feminism by Mashable, Buzzfeed, HuffPost, WNYC, The Guardian and the A.V. Club. She is also active on Twitter and Instagram. She loves musical theater and “strongly believe[s] in equal rights for men, women, and everyone who doesn’t identify with either.” You bet your pretty neck she does.