I never thought I’d be a feminist.
I know this is a much more serious post than the ones that I’ve posted earlier, but ever since the UCSB shootings, this has been something weighing heavily on my heart.
When I was in middle school, feminism sounded like an cult of angry women spewing nonsense things that don’t actually exist. Misogyny? I don’t know what that even means? Inequality? Honey, we’re in 2007, of course we’re all equal. I decided I didn’t need that in my life. Besides, being friends with boys was the cooler thing to do anyways. Girls have too much drama..Yuck.
What I didn’t realize at this time was how quickly boys and girls’ mindsets toward each other would diverge in the near future and how much we all really need feminism in our lives. I’m sorry I ever said feminism is stupid. I’m sorry I ever thought people who preached feminism were out of touch with reality. The truth is that many of those people are actually the most in touch with the truth of our society and of our world.
Part of the reason why I think so many people are wary and defensive against feminists and feminism is that they don’t understand what it means to be fighting for women’s rights, equality, and respect. The truth is, most men will never understand from experience what it is like to face the insecurities and specific dangers determined to be bestowed on a woman since the very moment she was born with boobs and a vagina. But I want to try and describe what it’s like to you because feminism isn’t about man-hating, but feminist-hating is about hating having to treat women right, and that’s really messed up.
When your a woman, once the sun sets, you operate by a whole different set of rules that were taught to you when you were young.
It’s not just about not taking the shady way home. It’s about every road being dangerous and every person being guilty until proven innocent. It’s about clutching your cell phone close to you with 911 already dialed if need be. It’s about calling your mother at 10:40pm on your way home from the closing shift at the gym, which is about 500m away, to make sure someone knows what’s going on. It’s about constantly feeling for your pepper spray when you see another person walking down the street. It’s about keeping your hood up and head down when cars past by in order to look more like a boy. It’s about asking your male friends who are working out late at the gym to wait for you to get off so you can walk with them back to your dorm. It’s about your dad begging you not to work at the gym any longer because he worries for you every time you have to walk home at night. It’s about walking past a group of guys feeling completely naked, even when you’re fully clothed. It’s about the fact that you’ve been conditioned to remember these things for the sake of my own safety because there are so many instances in everyday life and in the media of men harassing women, abusing women, taking women for granted, disrespecting women, and treating women like they’re something to be possessed. These precautions aren’t natural. But this is the reality of the world we live in.
When we go out, we go out in groups of girls. We make excuses to stop dancing or to not to leave with you because we legitimately want to make sure our friends are okay and we shouldn’t feel bad about it because we don’t owe you anything. We wear spanks under skirts or dresses because we don’t want to be randomly felt up. We watch out for each others drinks and keep our friends in sight. We have apps downloaded to alert our friends if we’re in an uncomfortable or bad situation. We make sure to walk each other home at night and text each other when we’ve safely arrived. We don’t do this because the girls in movies do this and we think it’s all cute and everything when we look out for each other. We do this because it is actually a necessity. So please, if you’re a guy, just think about that for a moment. Think about what that is like. Think about your mothers, your sisters, your female friends that you help walk home and worry about. There’s a reason for that. If you’re a girl, you know about these things, start supporting feminism because feminism is for you.
Linda needs feminism because feminism is about respect.
Linda needs feminism because Linda shouldn’t have to change her ways for someone else.
Linda needs feminism because Linda should be able to go out without worrying about all these things.
Linda needs feminism because Linda shouldn’t be scared of men. Yes, sometimes Linda actually doesn’t want to hang out with guys because she’s scared that those guys believe that being nice means that they are owed something or that saying no would make her a prude and saying yes would make her a slut.
I’m not a man-hater.. I.just.want.to.feel.safe.