When I say I am a feminist, I get weird looks.
When I say I am a feminist, I get the “Oh, so you hate men”.
When I say I am a feminist, I get the “Men and women aren’t biologically equal”.
Well, you know what? I am a feminist.
It is sad that it has gained a negative connotation when a feminist is a person who believes in the social, political and economic equality of the sexes. So look at me with your weird looks all you want. No, I do not hate men and at no point did I ever say that. Cheers to you for realizing that men and women aren’t biologically the same, but realize that both men and women are PEOPLE and should have equal rights and opportunities.
I am a feminist because I receive messages like this from my Dad, who worries about my safety in the upcoming year, that read;
“Women should be especially vigilant while walking alone at night and should stay in well-lit areas. Also, while Paris is statistically a safe place for women, it is a good idea to avoid smiling at or making prolonged eye contact with men you do not know; in France, this is (unfortunately) often interpreted as an invitation to make advances.”
It’s the 21st century. Yet, here I am, getting told that because of my gender, I am going to be less safe.
I am a feminist because society has made it an inconvenience to be a woman.
I am a feminist because when I scroll through my social media sites, like Facebook or Twitter, I read people posting articles with the title, “Top 10 Trends Women Love that Men Hate”. Why the hell should I care about what men love about my own appearance? Oh, that’s right, the media has made women believe that to be accepted, they should do it for the sake of men. Not because they feel good in a certain outfit that makes them feel comfortable about themselves.
I am a feminist because when women wear certain outfits to express themselves and feel confident, it is their fault if they get assaulted… their outfit was too “distracting” for the male gender. Somehow, when I see a man in a suit (which I think is probably the sexiest thing a man can wear), I know how to control myself. Maybe I should start catcalling them and tell them what they are wearing is too distracting for my reproductive genitals. Oh sorry, was that uncomfortable? Yeah, that’s a world reversed.
I am a feminist because women in the media have to sell themselves sexually on the cover of magazines while men look sophisticated, classy, business like, smart and ready to take on the world.
I am a feminist because of the 535 people in the 113th U.S. Congress, only 99 seats are held by women (a whopping 18.5%). In the Senate, a record breaking of 20/100 seats and in the House of Representatives, 79/435 (18.2%) (Rutgers: Eagleton Institute of Politics). As a woman in the U.S., does that mean that I am somewhat being represented equally to that of the 80 seats in the Senate and the 356 seats in House of Representatives held by men?
So when it comes to my reproductive rights, or my wage rights, am I being equally heard?
America falls as the 74th country with women in political power. That’s 74 out of 195 countries (Washington Post), and yet, as Americans, we take pride in saying that there is equality for all.
Thirty-seven percent of employed women hold a bachelor’s degree or higher versus that of 35 percent of men (Saenz). Of the 500 Fortune CEO positions, only 4.8 percent are held by women.
I ask, when we say that there is equality for all, what exactly are we talking about?
This is just the beginning of why I am a feminist.
I do believe that there is a double-standard. Listen closely, and when you hear a young boy crying, many adults will say, “stop crying, you look like a girl”. We teach that showing emotions and being a girl is wrong. We put so much pressure on men to be a different kind of perfect, not as sexualized beings (even though, they may take pride in their sexual life while women must be more modest or even ashamed of it) but in being successful, putting the bread on the table, and in control of their emotions at all times.
Let me clarify, as a feminist I do not believe that women should be superior to men. I believe, if that would be the case, society would be missing as much as it is missing today. Men and women would be losing as much as we are missing in this social construct. What I am advocating for is equality. I believe that we would all benefit from it.
This is what I mean when I say I am a feminist.