Over the last year or so, I’ve found my way to comfortably calling myself a Feminist. Recently, someone said to me, “I don’t understand why this needs to be a thing. How about we just call it humanism?” Sure, it sounds nice, but this is kind of like responding to the Black Lives Matter movement by saying that all lives matter. Of course they do, but not acknowledging that some lives are treated as though they don’t matter is the same as shrugging off a very serious problem. I don’t know if I’m opening myself up to criticism by making this, albeit loose, comparison. My point is that I wish we could all just be humanists, but not all humans are treated equally to other humans. That’s why we have Feminists, Gay Rights Advocates, and movements like the Black Lives Matter movement.
I’m still working on articulating exactly what being a Feminist means to me because the truth is that some days I don’t know. I think it’s different for everyone. I will say that I don’t plan on burning any bras in the near future despite the fact that I would love nothing more than to light that sucker on fire at the end of the day.
What I know it does means for me is that I won’t give people the comfort of my silence anymore because I don’t have to. Subsequently, I argue a lot, and that’s okay. This especially applies when someone spouts uneducated crap about women’s health issues (a subject I have proactively educated myself on) like that using contraception means you’re a slut. Spoiler alert: That’s bullshit. It also means that I try really hard to look at situations on a level playing field. I don’t think women are always right just because they are women, and I don’t think men are always wrong just because they’re men. I think anything other than that is the opposite of Feminism. Both genders have an equal propensity to fuck up.
That’s what Feminism about for me. Just plain equality—the reality that women are capable of doing the same things as any man because we are, and we should be compensated equally when the same work is done. Sometimes, women may even be better equipped to handle a task. It’s about speaking truth to myths and normalizing the female experience instead of continuing to make some things so taboo. Seriously, when do I get to walk to the bathroom with a tampon in my hand instead of shoved in a pocket or up my sleeve? It’s fucking biology for Christ’s sake.
Anyway, Happy International Women’s Day to all of the women of the world of all shapes, sizes, and colors. You are all amazing.
Being a woman is really pretty rad.