I Am Not Ashamed To Be A Feminist
By Elizabeth.Hawksworth on December 19, 2012
I am not ashamed to be a feminist. I’m not worried what people on the blogosphere will think of my “audacity” to call out what I see. I’m not going to stop talking about the injustice and equality that women in my generation and the generations following do face and will face. I use my voice to speak out, and I will continue to do so.
Because women didn’t always have the privilege to speak out without worry. We didn’t always have blogs in which to discuss things like rape culture and employment inequality in peace. We didn’t have the luxury of being able to protest, to shout to the rooftops how we feel and what we demand. We would be thrown in jail. We would be physically harmed. And now that our worries are lessened in that respect, it becomes even more important to speak out – because when we don’t, it makes it tacitly okay to go back to those times. After all, if we’re not protesting, it must mean that we agree, right? No, but that’s how society sees women.
We are pitted against each other constantly for men’s entertainment. And sure, maybe it’s funny to watch two women pick and tease and undermine each other . . . but in the grand scheme of things, it’s bringing about our downfall. The feminist and women’s rights bloggers are now doing the same thing – picking at each other for the entertainment of the privileged class. And it’s not focusing on the main problem here, which is that we are allowed to say what we think. We’re allowed to stand up for our own rights – rights that men have had since the beginning of time.
I wasn’t always a feminist – as in, I wasn’t always labelled. And the label means nothing to me, because I don’t care what you want to call me. A feminazi? Okay, I’m going to side-eye you pretty hard for comparing me to people who decided killing off an entire subset of people was okay. A bitch? Maybe. A man hater? No. I just want the same rights that men have. A woman who doesn’t know her place? There’s where you’re wrong. I know my place . . . I know the place you want to put me in. And I refuse to take it, because that’s not where I deserve to be.
I’m not hysterical. I’m not stupid; my brain isn’t smaller and therefore dumber than yours. I’m not worried about hurting someone’s feelings when I tell you that I don’t stand for our culture’s leniency on people who rape. I’m not worried when someone is sad because I have told them that because women’s voices are traditionally silenced, they need to stand back and listen more carefully to what we’re saying. I’m not going to shut up when I’m told that I’m too mean, my words are too strong. They need to be mean. They need to be strong. Otherwise you don’t listen.
I’m not ashamed to be who I am. I stand up for women. I stand up for cultural equality. I stand up for a world in which men are told not to rape and women aren’t told how to not get raped. I stand up for women being paid exactly what they’re worth – the same as what men get paid. And I stand up for a world in which women’s choices aren’t scrutinized, judged, and ultimately attempted to be removed.
I am not ashamed to be a feminist. I am ashamed of a world that thinks standing up for women’s rights isn’t okay. And I’m not going to be quiet anymore.