I remember watching myself in the mirror as a young girl. I remember poking at my thighs and avoiding illuminated mirrors at Bed Bath and Beyond because they made the fibers on my face look pricklier, grosser, and more evident. Because girls aren’t supposed to look like that. Phrases like “run like a girl” and “because you’re a girl” have rung in my ears since the day I skipped into preschool and I never did a thing about it...until now.
I am a Feminist, and I declare this with all the willpower in my stomach and fire in my eyes.
To begin, let us delve on the definition of feminism. A feminist is a person, male or female, who acknowledges that there is truly a problem with gender today and we must repair it.
All of lives, us women are taught shame: to behave a certain way where we aren’t exposing so much of ourselves. Like being born a female means that we are guilty of something, so we go on to silence ourselves. We apply glue on our lips like lipstick, powder our noses and morph into beings we simply are not. And to top it all off, we grow up with the same childish mentality planted in the gardens of our minds and feed it to our children.
We need feminism, and desperately.
Without feminism, masculinity is a hard, small cage, and we put boys inside this cage. We tell them, “dress like this!”, “do not write!”, “do not cry!”...but why? Is his heart not beating? Why must he develop brawny arms and abs? If skinny girls and fat girls can be accepted through emerging beauty campaigns, what about men?
Because boys can be sensitive, and girls can sit without their legs crossed. Because my son will play with dolls, and my daughter with firetrucks. There are no boy colors and no girl colors. And what about a paid paternity leave, where both parents have the opportunity to be a part of their child’s early days?
We need feminism, and desperately.
But why are all curses directed toward women? How many feminine curse words can you list, and how many masculine? Because if a man is not a b----, he is the son of one. Think before you speak.
When I first begin community college last summer, I was deeply worried. Not about the content or supplies, but about what to wear. If eyeliner was too much if I wanted to be taken seriously. If I appeared too feminine, nobody would take me seriously. To be serious or even considered intelligent in today’s twisted society, women are typically told to dress plainly. The bitter truth of the matter is that when it comes to appearance, men are seen as the precedent. After all, Hilary Clinton didn’t trim her hair and don shoulder pads for the hell of it.
Marriage is another example. When a woman isn’t married by 30, she is seen as a personal failure or a hideous lump. When a man isn’t married by 30, he just hasn’t found time to make the right choice. Burn the double standards, and the patriarchy.
So why feminism?
Because there are still people in the world who think rape is okay if the other person is sleeping. Because a woman’s dollar is 77 cents. Because a woman is raped every 14 seconds in South Africa. Because today, 3 million girls are victims of genital mutilation every year. Because...have you played Grand Theft Auto? Because when a man is a victim of a sex crime, no one cares to ask if he was drunk or what he was wearing.
So stop using my body to sell your cars or your burgers. I am not your background dancer. I am not an accessory, or a toy. Why is the future of my body being debated in your courtroom? I am an equal. I am everything and anything I want to be. I am a woman, and I am the universe in ecstatic motion.