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.