Friday, September 11, 2015

On Feminism

Ever since I can remember, I've always identified as a feminist. Not until recently am I really delving deeper into the real meaning of what that means for me and others around me. If you haven't already read them, I was inspired by Nicole's post and Jord's post, numerous posts from Brita. I tend to stray away from posts that can be controversial, but I'm trying to throw that notion right out of the window. 

To bring it down to basics, feminism is the advocacy of women's rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men.

In the past few years, I've been learning more about the nuances of feminism, equality, and misogyny, in turn I've also been in more situations where I can see misogyny and experience it for myself. I was raised in a middle-class family, as an only child. My parents raised me to be independent, not compare myself to others, and to fight for what I believe in. I went to a large,  urban, bipartisan school that was almost equally male and female. I joined a sorority, and even though many would think that being in a sorority would negate my feminist perspectives, it helped empower me to understand what a group of women can do together. Trust me, we all don't just have pillow fights, cry over who gets picked to go to who's fraternity date party, and paint coolers just so you can get lavaliered. Anyways, before I get stuck on sorority stereotypes and how many of them are wrong, let me get back on track. I never would have thought, in any setting, that I would find myself dating a male chauvinist. Here comes my one and only disclaimer for this post. I have never taken any women's studies, cultural study classes, etc. So I apologize if I'm not using the right terminology. I will try to explain the best I can, and if I'm incorrect I would love if you could let me know politely in the comments. For two years, I sat and listened to what I was supposed to do as a woman, what women aren't supposed to do, and why I'm doing good for a woman. Eek. I get that he wasn't trying to crush my spirit or be intentionally spiteful but why did I stand for that? As most of you regular readers know, I broke up with him a few months back, said my peace, and never looked back

I just had a talk with one of my friends, she's studying law and previously was working for a large technology firm in the DC area. Like most large technology companies, they are male dominated. She explained to me that even after four years, she was stuck behind one of her male counter-parts and wasn't fully recognized until she finally transferred teams to another boss who would recognize her work. I immediately was frustrated on her behalf but was happy that she was able to do something to get herself out of that situation.

However, when I thought more about both of these situations, yes, we both were able to leave a bad situation, but the situation was never fixed. In my situation, I wasn't able to appropriately articulate how I felt, how it made me feel, and the even bigger picture of how this can affect the entire female population. He never learned and I'm sure this will continue in his next relationships. What I want to do is be able to educate people. I want to become more comfortable with self-proclaiming myself as a feminist, helping to educate people about it, and to advocate for feminism. 

Am I a feminist? Yes.

Why? Because:
1. I don't want to oppress my voice against social injustices.
2. I do not want gender discrimination. 
3. I would like to see more empowered women in my society. I hope that my voice can inspire others to talk about feminism, even if you are not the most well versed!

Are you a feminist or not? What are your opinions on feminism?

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