I started this post knowing it was going to be a doozy. But, I had to talk about it because I get asked all the time if I consider myself a feminist. I think that’s such a strange question because shouldn’t we all, men and women, be feminists? Shouldn’t we all want equal rights?
Everyone has their own opinion as to what being a “feminist” means. Attending an all women’s college has really proven that to me. All of us at Wellesley consider ourselves feminists, but how that manifests can be completely different.
And I want to be clear when I say that all of those variations are valid and strong. I also want to be clear that I will never tell another woman who she should be. Even if you don’t consider yourself a feminist, that doesn’t mean that you are any less than anyone else.
To me, being a feminist means I have a choice. A choice to be a feminist, a choice to chose my own career, a choice to love whomever I want, a choice to choose my own path wherever that may lead me; and I think that’s amazing.
I think it’s increasingly important that as women we don’t use feminism as a way to put each other down. Emma Watson said it best when she said, “feminism is not a stick with which to beat each other with.” We cannot use feminism as an excuse to justify our own life choices against others. That, to me, goes against everything feminism represents. Our fore mothers fought for our right to have the opportunity to do everything that men could. They are probably rolling in their graves knowing that today women turn on each other and attack each other for making the choices that they fought to give us!
Women’s rights still have a long way to go before things are okay, but it’s not the time to stop supporting each other. If anything, we need to come together more so than ever in order to bring the world that those women fought for to fruition.
This probably sounds cheesy to some people, but it’s what I think. I find it really frustrating when people tell me I’m not allowed to have an opinion because of the way that I grew up. But, I don’t think that’s the best way to change conversations and to change the status quo. Isn’t that why we’re fighting to change, because women were left out of conversations and thus not given equal opportunities? This applies not just to feminism, but if we allow all people to be a part of these important changes, then they can learn to understand. By excluding people because of their backgrounds, we are only furthering the problem, only furthering the ignorance and the confusion. It seems almost ass-backwards to me!
I feel like someone standing on a podium shouting to a crowd. But for all the times I’ve been told I’m not allowed to talk, or my opinion isn’t valid, or you’re too privileged to understand, I felt the need to shout.
It’s crucial to educate ourselves on these matters! I’m not claiming to be an expert. I mean, I go to Wellesley College and I still feel like I don’t know anything. Only through discussion, education and an open mind is how, I believe, we can inspire actual, real change.