Feminism: A Deeper Look

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.

Together We Stand

Today, more than ever, I have never been prouder to be an American. I have never been prouder to call myself a women. And I have never been prouder to stand up for what I believe in. After what was a quite heavy day yesterday, I woke up this morning to find my Facebook feed full of power, strength and hope. All around the world, people (women and men) came together to not only march against sexism, racism and misogyny, but to prove that the people still hold power. And that within the people who stand up for what they believe in, we find the good of the world. So while I would have loved nothing more than to be in DC, New York City, LA, London, Melbourne or any of the many many cities around the world that marched for our rights, I stand together with those citizens of the world to show my values and my power as another citizen. I remember listening to one of President Obama’s many speeches where he said that the most powerful word we have is “we”. And he couldn’t have been more accurate. Today WE proved that if WE stand together and bind our differences to become one, WE can overcome anything. WE can work through the hardest of times. And through those hardest of times WE will find hope in each other. The answers to our questions and the pathways to our dreams lie in the way we come together as one nation. Let’s push beyond our differences, allow ourselves to see others not as what they look like but as who they are, and open our hearts to see the good of the people and of the world. Together, We stand to make a difference in our world.