Saturday, November 09, 2013

Days of Thankfulness, Day 9

This morning, a dear friend told me on Facebook that one of the reasons she identifies as a feminist is because of me. Something about how I approach people as a feminist resonated with her, and she saw it no longer as something bad, but as something positive, and worth supporting.

I'm so amazingly flattered by this, I can't begin to tell you in mere words.

I suppose I've identified as a feminist ever since 8th grade, when my U.S. History teacher and I argued about women in combat and he told me, "Women are needed at home to have babies and keep the population going." Thirteen-year-old Meg responded, "Well, you need men for that, too." Mr. W. snapped, "Don't be immature!" I kept my mouth shut (after all, I was terrified of being sent to the principal's office), but I remember thinking, "You're not making sense!!!" It was the first time a beloved teacher--and we all loved Mr. W., he was actually an amazing teacher--expressed an opinion that made me angry. It still sticks out in my memory today.

So today, I'm thankful for feminism. I'm thankful for the everyday warriors who do so much more than I do to ensure we don't lose the fight in making everyone equal. Everyone. I'm thankful for the women who fought for the right to vote, for the women who questioned, for the women who stood up and said, "No. This needs to be better." Every day, we are bombarded with messages from the media, from politicians, from all sides, that we are silly women who can't make decisions for ourselves, who need to fit a certain mold.


As I said to my friend this morning:

It's not about man-hating or anyone being better than anyone else. It's about equality and being able to live our lives as women without apologizing for being strong, or being called a bitch for having an opinion. It's about being able to walk down the street without some creeper intimidating us with a stare, a whistle, a disgusting comment. It's about smashing the ad industry's perception of what acceptable "feminine beauty" looks like, so maybe I can finally learn to be comfortable in the body I've got. It's about earning the same salary for the same work, it's about having a say in our rights in terms of reproductive health and when/if/how many children we have. I can't imagine why anyone wouldn't want to be a feminist!
 The sooner we all start recognizing this, the better.

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