I have always been very hesitant to call myself a feminist, even though I felt like one. So why? Because over the past years there has been this stigma attached to the word. To some people, a feminist is someone who believes that women should have more rights than men. That women are better than men. However after everything that’s happened this past weekend, I am no longer afraid to speak out as a feminist.
But first I had to take a step back. I had conformed to societies view of a feminist. But what does being a feminist really mean? The dictionary definition of feminism is “the advocacy of women’s rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes.” And that’s exactly what I believe in. I believe that women deserve the voice and power that men have. I believe that women are not seen the same way as men and that people use the female gender to put us down. I believe that we have made progress. I mean just take a look at history, there’s no denying that we are nowhere close to where we were 100 years ago. But I also believe that we are nowhere close to where we should be.
As a feminist, I believe that women should be treated exactly the same as men; no better, no worse. There are some ‘feminists’ that believe that women should be superior to men. And that if a man holds a door open for them or pulls out a chair for them, that they are showing off their superiority. That is not what I believe. I believe that there are certain things that a man can do for a woman simply to show their respect without looking like they are showing off. The reason I was ever afraid to call myself a feminist is because of the toxic and over-powering stigma society has attached to it. But as long as I realize that I call myself a feminist because I stand up for the equality of women and women’s rights in a powerful yet graceful way, I know that I am not conforming to society’s idea of a feminist.
I stand here today declaring myself a feminist, promising to always stand up for equality for all and what I believe in.