Dangerous. Subversive. Radical. Selfish. Sensual. Worldly. Evil. Shameful. Shameless. Foolish. All words used to describe feminism in my circles.
Growing up, feminism was a bad word in my community. Church, family, and friends alike treated the word and people who identified with it as either criminally naive or just plain evil.
It was in this atmosphere I grew up, independent, fiercely sure of my own worth and intelligence, but also firmly aware of my place in the world.
I’ve been a feminist for a while, but it took me quite a long time to accept the word. Accept, and them embrace.
At first, I was careful. I believed in equality, I stressed. Not women’s superiority, so it wasn’t really feminism. Never mind that I had never done a lick of research into feminism. Never mind that the only things I heard about feminism were from its opponents. Feminism was a bad thing. Like liberalism. Destroying America, and the family, and worldwide faith.
So in the beginning, I was careful. Not real feminism, but equality. Women could do anything. They just shouldn’t do…certain things. It wasn’t right.
But that didn’t mean we were unequal. Nope. No way. Oh, dear young self. Dear many, many younger selves who are stuck in this loop.
I am feminist now. Adamantly so. I take issue with how women are portrayed in media, how words associated with the feminine are used, and how the idea of the female has been relegated to a secondary status in almost all areas of life.
I’m not starting a lecture. I’m not going to get in a debate or list all the ways women have been subdued or oppressed. It’s not my time for that. For now, for the first thing, I’m just declaring what I am. I am a feminist.