When I realized I was a feminist
Hi, I’m Elisabeth and I’m a feminist. I realized this label maybe a few years ago but it was more like putting together the puzzle pieces of how I already saw the world. It was something completely natural and not forced at all.
I grew up in an all female household with a single mother. My mom encouraged my sister and I to follow our own paths and do what we believed in. The result is that my sister and I grew up to be level-headed, creative, independent people and also you guessed it, feminists.
I remember this book that was in my house from the 70’s when I was growing up in the 90’s “Girls can be anything”. This book has a girl as president and trying out other occupations on the cover. It still saddens me that this isn’t a reality yet. As I was growing up of course this was my attitude but at the same time I definitely noticed that girls were treated differently by teachers, other kids and by society. Girls seemed to be limited in some ways, more fragile, more shy. No matter what I still believed as a little girl that we in fact could do anything we put our minds to.
In college I realized, oh, I am a feminist and that’s not a big deal it’s just a word for how I view the world. That men and women should get equal pay for equal work, shouldn’t be discriminated against or mistreated because of their sex.
I don’t know why this is something that is still an issue or something controversial. There’s a huge stigma to feminism and I don’t see it going away any time soon. Just because it’s the year 2017 does not mean “all men are created equal” is automatically true, we’ve still got a lot of work to do.
Feminism in 2017
There are still a lot of alarming things in the world and about the stigma of feminism and strong women. Witnessing lots of dude’s on social media (namely Facebook and Youtube) calling women/trolling them making comments on their appearance or wishing terrible things to happen to them, you know rape culture which does in fact exist. When if someone comes out and says they were sexually assaulted they still question the woman and blame them. Or say that the statistics are a lie or try to debunk other myths like the wage gap.
Calling women “feminazis” in the same breath they complain about how women are so needy/don’t want them. Saying “feminism is cancer”. Comparing abortion to “slavery” and being staunchly pro-not giving a woman a right to choose when the government has never debated control over their bodies…do you see something disturbing here? The same men who cheered on a man to become president who has no experience and picked up politics as a hobby against a woman with years of experience and picked every piece of her apart. All the while if he assaulted women or said things about them or has an unsecured phone…he’s fine and that my friends is called a double standard.
Signs in Strasbourg at the sister march
Why we need feminism and intersectional feminism
If you say sexism doesn’t exist or agree with any of the above we’ve gotta have a talk. This is why we need feminism. Women fought for rights for a long time just so people like Tomi Lahren can go against the whole idea. I was so glad to be a part of one of the sister marches of the march on Washington because it made me feel a little less isolated and that maybe all isn’t going to hell at the moment.
In this time it is important that we are as inclusive as possible, when I say I’m a feminist I mean an inter-sectional feminist. Obviously even the Women’s march had some issues with talking about WOC to hijacking the name from a LGBT march in 1997, clearly we need to do better.
Per wikipedia here is the definition: Intersectionality is the idea that multiple identities intersect to create a whole that is different from the component identities. These identities that can intersect include gender, race, social class, ethnicity, nationality, sexual orientation, religion, age, mental disability, physical disability, mental illness, and physical illness as well as other forms of identity.
What can we do to #Resist?
It is in times like that is so important to lift each other up and support each other. Get involved. Support organizations like Planned Parenthood and the ACLU. Don’t support companies that support Trump like Uber. Call your representatives and senators ALL the time. Never stop calling or writing or protesting. We’re apart of the resistance after all, stand up for scientists, minorities, immigrants, refugees, LGBTQ+ community and more. If we stand up together, we’ve got this. I hope.