I’m a feminist.
I’m not anti-men. I’m not anti-marriage. I’m not anti-typical-gender-roles, anti-stay-at-home-mom. I’m anti-this-way-is-the-only-way. I’m anti-your-value-lies-in-your-ability-to-get-a-husband-and-make-babies. I’m anti-stay-in-the-kitchen-because-this-is-where-you-belong. I’m anti-you-don’t-get-a-choice.
I’m a feminist. I’m not anti-femininity. I’m not anti-masculinity. I’m not anti-chivalry, but I am anti-friendzone. I’m anti-you-thinking-holding-a-door-open-for-me-means-that-you-should-now-have-access-to-my-pants. I’m anti-kindness-being-treated-like-it’s-a-coin-and-I’m-some-slot-you-can-keep-dumping-them-in-and-the-pay-out-is-sex. If you hold a door open for me or pull out a chair simply because it’s a nice thing to do, I’m not anti-that. But I’m gonna be angry, fiery and red-hot angry, when I’m expected to give it up because you did these things.
I’m a feminist. I’m not anti-being-told-I’m-pretty, so long as my entire worth is not being wrapped up in my looks. I’m not anti-compliment but I am anti- objectification. I’m anti-being-treated-like-all-I-am-is-a-pretty-face.
I’m anti-being-unable-to-walk-down-the-street-without-being-yelled-at. I’m anti-being-told-to-take-that-as-a-compliment.
I’m a feminist not because I think I’m better than men, that men are beneath me. I’m a feminist because I’m equal to men. Men should not have a say in my body and my life because they have a penis. Having a penis does not make someone magically more qualified, more knowledgeable, simply because it’s there. Having a penis shouldn’t be an instant pass to make laws about my body, especially when no one is making laws about penises.
I’m a feminist because I don’t want to be defined by my relationship with men. I don’t want to just be someone’s daughter, sister, niece, wife, or mother. I want to be someone who happens to also be all the those things. I don’t want crimes committed against me to gain sympathy with things like, “what if that was your sister? Or daughter?” Why is my worth defined by who I am to someone else? Why can it not be appalling because I’m a person and I don’t deserve that?
I’m a feminist. I’m anti-slut-shaming, anti-victim-blaming. I’m anti-rape-culture, anti-you-asked-for-it. I’m anti-living-in-a-world-where-being-a-female-is-a-strike. I’m anti-wage-gap. I’m anti-act-like-a-lady when the definition of a lady is to ignore any impulse society deems unacceptable or inappropriate, yet we refuse to make men follow the same standards and instead give them passes. And I’m anti-you’ll-grow-out-of-it, as if my feminism, my desire to be a person despite having a vagina, is somehow a phase. I’m anti-sit-down-and-shut-up. I’m anti-you-have-a-vagina-you-don’t-get-a-say. I’m anti-my-wanting-equality-is-an-attack-on-men. I’m anti-girl-being-an-insult. I’m anti-you-defining-me, down to what it means to be a feminist.
I define me. And I’m a feminist.