The F-Word

A little girl grew up in a liberal household, knowing that all are equal, that racism and sexism are wrong. This little girl also grew up without hearing the word feminist. She heard the words equal and rights, but never feminist. She thought that to be a feminist you had to be extreme. You had to boycott or riot, you had to start movements in an attempt to move mountains. She had heard that some walked around topless … To the girl, these were the only ways to identify as a feminist; to take some bold step in the direction of equal pay and the right to chose. If you had said, “Hey, are you a feminist?” she would have blushed a little and shook her head know, noting that she was entirely sure of exactly what the word meant.
Years later, the girl went of to a boarding school, becoming fast friends with a girl that some boys called a “femi-nazi.” This girl was beautiful and flirtatious. She did not hold back from having romantic relationships, nor did she treat any of the boys with disrespect. She was living proof that being a feminist doesn’t really mean making things better for women, it means making the sexes equal. Being a feminist doesn’t mean cutting off all relationships with men, never having sexual intercourse or a romantic relationship, it means finding an equal balance in the relationship, insuring that you are not being used for your body or your uterus. Not only did this girl redefine feminism for me, she fearlessly called herself a feminist, not backing down while the rest of us young women shy away from the word. This same girl handed me a book a few months back that truly sealed the deal between me and feminism. The author asked: Do you believe that you deserve your right to vote? Do you believe that women and men should have equal pay? If the answer is yes, you are a feminist.
I have never, ever felt so enlightened as the day I realized that I have always been a feminist. No, I did not become a feminist, I was raised a feminist, I just had never known the true definition of that big word. So, ask me again, “hey, are you feminist?” Because the answer is yes, the answer has always been yes. I just didn’t know it.
As a feminist, I now know that most importantly we have to spread the word that feminism is not something to back away from. Feminism is believing that you deserve to lead your own, independent life. You are not here to make babies if you don’t want to make babies. You are not here as a sex object. You are not here to stay home and clean if you would rather be earning money. Feminism is granting both men and women the right to be whoever they want to be, whether it is a stay at home parent or a brain surgeon.
So, yes, I am a feminist. I am a feminist and I am proud.