So I was inspired by some of the reading I’ve been doing recently around Women’s History Month. I consider myself a feminist and have been since I was in high school. Until recently I had never questioned this, but during my recent travels I came up against a number of women who saw being a feminist as a bad thing. I had been reading Clementine Ford’s Fight Like A Girl, and got into some really interesting conversations about it with people I met travelling. Some had good views of feminism, but others were, well scared, as I saw it. The word ‘feminist’ has in recent years been given some bad connotations. It was at this point that I began to think more about exactly why I am a feminist and the way being a feminist is seen by other women and by men. So I decided to put down on paper just some of the reasons I am a feminist. There are many, many more, but here are just a few of them:
Because I’ve been told to ‘smile’ one too many times when I didn’t want to.
Because I have to work twice as hard just to get by.
Because if I take the lead I’m being bossy, not assertive.
Because when I say no, it doesn’t mean I’m playing hard to get.
Because being athletic doesn’t make my any less of a woman.
Because not all girls want to put on makeup and wear dresses.
Because I don’t fit into the boxes you try to squeeze me into.
Because I should be able to walk down the street without getting yelled at.
Because you shouldn’t be throwing stones at me, just because I turned you down.
Because the media tries to make me feel like I’ll never be good enough.
Because I shouldn’t have to push you off me when I’ve already said no.
Because if I raise my voice I get called shrill.
Because I should be able to dance without you putting your hands on me.
Because if I don’t want you I’m a prude; but if I do, I’m a slut.
Because my only goal in life isn’t just to get married.
Because I’m more than what you tell me I should be.
Because I hated balancing a book on my head, to walk ‘properly’.
Because you called me one of your ‘young ladies’ but ignored me when I needed help.
Because I’m more than just what I’m wearing, or what I’m not.
Because why should I have to obey you, when you don’t have to do the same.
Because my body is mine alone and you don’t get a say.
But mostly it’s because we are all in this together,
And that’s as it should be.