I’ve read a lot of articles about why feminism matters. I’ve also, sadly, read some on why women feel they don’t need feminism. I make sure to read from both sides, both opinions, because although I cannot fathom one of them – that’s how you learn.
I need feminism. I cannot expect everyone I meet to agree with me (and I would never want to meet only women like myself). All women deserve a voice – no matter how painful the opinion may be to hear. I do however need people to start realizing that the reason women can even have this discussion is because of feminism. It hasn’t been long since these freedoms have existed. As recently as 1978, a woman could get fired for being pregnant. Respect history. Give credit to those women who fought before us. Give credit to women who are still fighting.
Women are still fighting – in wars, protests, blogs, the workplace, for good reason – Even today I watched a video in which a woman was verbally harassed by over 100 men in the period of only a few hours.
I need feminism because I feel like I’m anomaly for never having experienced sexual violence.
I need feminism because I have avoided dinners with men because I don’t feel comfortable being alone in the house of a man I don’t know very well – because I fear that he would be in the position to take advantage of me if we were alone in his home. He could be a great guy, but I don’t want to take that risk.
I need feminism because when I talk to a guy I’m interested in I’m worried about wearing too much make up to be “naturally” pretty. Because I feel like if I’m not wearing make-up, I can’t feel pretty at all.
Because it’s better for a girl in our society not to think she is pretty, especially not to say she thinks she is pretty, than to be confident.
Because I have been called a bitch by both men and women for being assertive and a slut for sleeping with whomever I want.
I need feminism because I’m often afraid to interject when I hear sexist or racist or homophobic language because I don’t want people to think I’m too radical or one of “those” feminists. Because the notion of “those” feminists (you know, the crazy ones) still exists.
I need feminism so that one day I won’t instinctually keep my head down and avert my eyes when I walk past a man on the street.
Because I have come home from a night out feeling invalidated because no guy paid any attention to me.
These issues may pale in comparison to what women in other countries, of other socio-economic statuses and of different sexual orientation have faced. But all anti-feminist mentality and acts of disrespect stem from the same misogynistic structures and need to end.
I dream of the day that all women are able to enjoy their own version of equality, and I’m glad we live in a time that some women already feel they’ve accomplished that. I won’t be able to stand down until every single woman feels the same.