I wanted to use this blog to describe how I consider myself a feminist. I think I need reassurance that I’m doing what I need to do to be considered one because by this point I know what feminism is yet when I tell people I am one they’re always shocked. This leaves me with two options; 1- I am obviously doing something wrong or 2- feminism is still so completely misunderstood it’s unbelievable.
I stand up for what I believe in and am for the equal treatment of all people. I’m pro-life but I can understand reasons for pro-choice arguments. I do not think women are better than men, nor do I hate men. I think that women and men are better at various things and that these skills should be encouraged instead of chastised. I am for the betterment of society as long as it doesn’t sacrifice my ethical views, and I’m not opposed to change. I will and do voice my opinion when people are being unnecessarily rude or narrow-minded. I am empowered by myself and my role-models. I have career goals and want to have children.
That being said, I still consider myself a feminist. Actually, I would think most people would be feminists if they held similar lists, yet the term feminist still has such a negative connotation to it. When I explained to my boyfriend that I was a feminist he laughed and said that I couldn’t be because I didn’t burn my bra or hate men. This made me 1- seriously doubt his intelligence and 2- wonder why I was dating him. (I’m still with him- I know, I know…) But the challenge to educate people on what feminism truly is, is extremely challenging. Even empowered women that I know don’t consider themselves feminists when they hold the same views as the list above.
It’s interesting going through the women’s studies minor at SMC and realizing how much we’ve changed. Writing the “What is Feminism?” paper 3 times has given me an almost comical illustration of my development. Originally, I viewed feminism more of an extreme almost political stance. I didn’t think all feminists were man-haters, but I didn’t realize that bras hadn’t actually been burned. Obviously now I hold a much different view. Anyway, I’m going to continue to trust that I know what feminism is all about and confidently explain to others why I am one. I’ve received the funny, cynical, and skeptic looks but I am positive that I can make people see the light. It sounds super cheesy but as Saint Mary’s women I feel that we have an obligation to spread our intelligence around.