Tag Archives: feminist

Conversations with my 13 year old self…

Can you be a feminist without knowing what a feminist is? This is one question that I have been asking myself over the past few days. On one hand it seems so incredibly obvious that the answer is yes, people can have a belief without actually knowing what humans have decided to classify it as, and that thought made me think that, case closed, I was a feminist before I actually knew what the terminology was.

But, on the other hand, I have learned so much over the past year about many people’s ideas and beliefs about what feminism is, and what it means to them, that the thought of saying that people can be something without discovering what it truly means to them seems most untrue. Until this year, I didn’t really express my thoughts as much as I do now. I acknowledge them a lot more than I did before.

For some reason, giving something a name seems to clarify a lot of things for me, and most people alike. It is kind of like looking at one tiny part of a picture, trying to figure out what it means, and then one day looking up at the rest of the picture, and then it all makes sense.

Knowing that there are in fact people that think the same way as me was really important to me, not because I am afraid of being different, but because you have like minded people you can talk to, and you aren’t trying to make the whole world see things the way you do.

I haven’t been debating this in my head enough to come to a conclusion, so I’ll let you know when I’m done to the final round. In the mean time, thoughts? I would love to know what others think about the subject.

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Being a Feminist

I would never utter the word feminist at school, let alone declare that I am one. This has nothing to do with what I am sure some of you are thinking, that she she ashamed of it. And I know a few of you would probably take that one step further and say, well, that makes sense, really, I would ashamed too. But it is nothing like that. It’s because the people at school wouldn’t get it, they would think that I am some nutter that doesn’t shave and is frantically urging all women to burn their bras. But that isn’t what feminism is about for me. And the students that I attend school with wouldn’t understand it.

So I don’t bother advertising it. And why should I? I think feminists can have the impact that they want to have without declaring that they are in fact feminists. It is sad, however, that feminism isn’t a concept that is embraced, and that many people know very little about it. And I guess it isn’t just a lack of knowledge which is sad, not everyone is going to take interest in it, and they shouldn’t, it is more the assumptions that people make, and the opinions that people form, when they really don’t have the first clue about what they are talking about.

There are many good things about calling yourself a feminist. So of course there are going to be some bad things. Labeling yourself as a feminist is a hard thing to do. Mainly because it involves labeling yourself. I get that many feminists are probably thinking, hey, that isn’t fair, that isn’t what I signed up for, I’m about creating my own kind of feminism, or I don’t agree with everything about feminism, just enough to call myself one. I’m not talking about what you define as feminism, I’m talking about what society defines as feminism, and more specifically, what adolescents define as feminism. And unfortunately, society won’t always see it the same way you do.

I have known from a young age that feminism was going to be my passion, my belief, my religion, and my whole life was going to revolve around it, and that all my morals and values were going to be based on it. But it is hard admitting to yourself, and to others that this is what you believe in. More than your friends, more than your family, more than your families friends. It is hard. Why? Because it is putting yourself out there. It is letting everyone’s own definition of feminism become a part of your life. Because not everyone is going to understand your own personal definition of feminism.

I think feminism is a lot like Christianity. Both have started because of one main, big, popular idea, and both have broken into different forms of it. There are different forms of Christianity, and there are different forms of feminism. I think that people should keep that in mind, just because people call themselves one thing, doesn’t mean that they are what they think you are. By that I mean, just because someone calls themselves a feminist doesn’t mean that they are what you think a feminist is.

There are many good things about being a feminist as well, it isn’t all bad. You get to be a part of something big, a movement, and you get to make it up. You get to stand up for what you believe in, practice what you believe in, make people’s heads turn. One of the biggest lessons that I have learned, is that feminism is not one size fits all, and that you can make it whatever you want it to be. Whether people understand what you are about or not.

 

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If a rapist wants to rape, a rapist will rape

On most of the feminist blogs that I have been reading at the moment there is at least one post on the subject of rape, and on those posts there is usually a comment stating that rape isn’t just the rapists fault, but in some cases it is the woman’s as well. So I thought I would share my opinions on that. Because I can.

It will never cease to amaze me how so many people legitimately believe that rape is not entirely a man’s fault. An interesting and valid point was raised on a blog titled A Touch of the Crazy, well one of the many interesting and valid points raised on that blog, was that was that people feel the need to blame the victim in this crime because the rapist is blamed so routinely. So they feel the need to question the situation and draw conclusions about the woman, and how her actions have impacted on the situation, instead of how the man’s actions have affected the woman.

One thing that a lot of people argue is that if a woman was drunk, and then raped, that it is her fault too. I’ve got a two pronged argument on that, my first point being what difference does it make if a woman is drunk or not? Is a rapist less likely to rape a woman who is sober? Could a woman fight back or stop the man from raping her if she was sober? Maybe some men might target women who are drunk, but 9 out of 10 ten times I think rapists will rape a woman sober or not.  Yes, women may but themselves in more risky situations than she normally would, but then again, maybe not. Any situation where there is a rapist involved could be a dangerous situation, but you aren’t going to know about it until it is too late.

If drunk women are going to be held accountable for their own rape, then what other situations would a woman be held accountable for someone raping her? Walking outside at night alone would be one. She is putting herself at risk. In fact, going anywhere alone could mean that someone could rape her. Knowing people is dangerous, a lot of rapists rape people they already know. On the other hand, some men don’t really care, and would rape anyone, so not knowing people well, and not knowing whether they are trust worthy is putting yourself at risk. Going on a date is putting yourself at risk, you could be date raped. Bloody waking up in the morning is putting ourselves at risk, having fathers, husbands, male friends, all of these things are putting ourselves at risk. So at what point do we say it was the victims fault, that she was asking for it, and at what point do we say it is entirely the rapists fault? It is simply not fair to assume if she hadn’t done this and she done that that she wouldn’t have been raped. At what point do women stop living their lives because we ‘might’ get raped.

When you look at many other crimes, the victim is never blamed in this fashion. If someone works at a petrol station at 12am in the morning, and someone decides to rob the place, and shoots the staff in the process, no one ever says it was the persons fault for having that kind of job. No one seems to care if a murder victim is drunk, it doesn’t change the fact that the murderer killed someone. It doesn’t somehow undo the crime and make it better. Because the murderer was always going to kill, just as a rapist was always going to rape.

Rape is a hard enough case to win in court, because there is always the argument that the woman asked for it, or that she agreed to it. Why, instead of saying if a woman didn’t do this and didn’t do that can’t we say well if the rapist didn’t decide to rape, then there wouldn’t be an issue. No woman asked to be raped, and when someone decides to rape, it isn’t a mutual decision. It is reached by one person, and I don’t care what anyone says about what the woman did or didn’t do, it is and always will be decided to by one person and one person only. If a rapist wants to rape, a rapist will rape, and there is no way anyone could possibly say that those decisions that an individual makes are anyone else ‘s fault but their own.

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Feminism

Feminism. It is something that I have been passionate about for a long time, and decided that I am mature enough and have learned enough from elders to actually start to write about it. And my current occupation (student at high school) means that a lot of the things that I write about are going to be more from a girl’s perspective, instead a woman’s. Which I think could be a good thing. It’s something a bit different. Not many girls my age call themselves feminists, or write about feminism, so this will be a collection my young, different but not so different and possibly naive-at-times-opinions. My opinions and I welcome you.

At my age there is a lot of pressure on girls, to do things to be things that sometimes some of us just don’t want to do and be. Most of this comes from our male peers, and males in general really. I think that though out high school girls can be really under valued, and used and abused really easily. At high school some girls will lose their virginity, be called sluts and have other insulting and untrue said to them, they decide they need to change themselves, mentally and physically and some will discover a mascara wand. And unfortunately I am not immune to all this, so hopefully writing and reading and believing in feminism will keep me strong. High school is where our adult lives begin. It is also where the damage begins.

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