Today, March 8th, is International Women’s Day. I’ve been meaning to write this post for a while, and I decided that today would be the perfect time.
In 2015, we live in a generation of opposing viewpoints. Feminists speaking out on one end, and politicians or anti-feminists trying to take our society backwards on the other.
In America, we live in a society with many opportunities that women in other countries do not have. However, even we do not have full equality. This is a disappointment as a female American citizen living in the 21st century.
I believe that I should not have any reasons to be a feminist other than I believe in equality. But in this society, we are expected to have reasons for being a feminist. As if we should justify, qualify our opinions.
I am a feminist because I am. It’s as simple as that. But I am a feminist not for myself. I’m a feminist for women who don’t have a voice.
We need feminism because society has created fear of the word. We need feminism because feminism is viewed as a debatable issue rather than an obvious right. We need feminism because when celebrities announce they are feminists, it’s called “coming out,” as if they’ve been hiding a dark secret.
We need feminism because there are anti-feminists. There are people who minimize women’s issues as “feminist bitching.”
Voicing the belief in equal rights doesn’t make us bitches. It makes us human beings.
While I do not belive I need to divulge any reasons as to why I identify as a feminist, I do feel it necessary to express my need for feminism.
I need feminism because without it, my country may never have given women the right to vote.
I need feminism because I earn less than men.
I need feminism because advertisers tell me every day what I should look like.
I need feminism because advertisers give me different rules every day.
I need feminism because rape against women is debated by mostly male politicians.
I need feminism because women are told how to avoid being a victim of rape, while men are told how to pick up hoes.
I need feminism because women on the red carpet are asked, “What are you wearing?” before asking about the fucking movie.
I need feminism because Meghan Trainor shames women who are skinny, degrading them to “stick figure silicone Barbie dolls” (and gives poor excuses for doing so).
I need feminism because about 24 million women and men suffer from eating disorders in America. I’m willing to bet that society’s fucked up beauty standards and obsession with our bodies has something to do with that.
I need feminism when colleges allow rapists to return to school, which is horrifying and traumatic for the victims.
I need feminism because my ex-boyfriend told me I was weak.
I need feminism because women don’t need rules.
I need feminism because I don’t need marriage. If I want it, I can choose it.
I need feminism because I want control over my own body.
I need feminism because it is my choice whether or not to have kids–not society’s.
I need feminism because women are advised to travel in pairs or groups for our own safety.
I need feminism because women are told we can do anything we want–as long as we get married, have the right amount of kids (no one knows the exact number, but it’s constantly changing), and work the right amount (this is constantly changing too).
I need feminism because women’s choices are not viewed as CHOICES. They are viewed as right or wrong, and open for debate.
I need feminism because I am told I’m pretty more than I am told I’m smart.
I need feminism because some people believe rape victims were “asking for it.”
I need feminism because when I was a teenager, I read a Christian book that blamed rape victims. Their hypothesis: if women wear sexy clothes, men cannot help themselves.
I need feminism because control over women’s bodies and “blurring” the lines between rough sex and sexual assault are not only glorified, but books and music about this topic sells billions of dollars (Robin Thicke or 50 Shades, anyone?)
I need feminism because when a male celebrity’s naked photos are leaked, the situation is “funny.” When the same situation happens to a female celebrity, some call her a “whore,” and blame her for taking the photos in the first place.
I need feminism because some men use their drunkenness as an excuse to verbally or sexually harass me in bars.
I need feminism because a drunk man once offered me money to kiss him. While I had a boyfriend. After I had already rejected his flirtations (true story).
I need feminism because if I reject a guy for a date after he comes off too aggressive, his friend calls me a “bitch” and a “cunt” on Facebook (also true story).
I need feminism because there are many names used to shame women: slut, whore, cunt, bitch, skank, sleaze, easy, loose, open-for-business.
I need feminism because men are applauded for the types of behaviors that give women the names listed above.
I need feminism because I believe in body autonomy. My body is mine, no matter what our government, society, or some religions would like me to believe.
I need feminism because little girls are still learning that their looks matter. But there are young girls standing up to voice how much more important their education is than being pretty.
I need feminism because we should be celebrating women and voicing our hopes for equality every day of the year.
I need feminism because there are movements created with the purpose to tear down the progress feminists have made in this country. Movements that are blatantly sexist against women and have a disturbing number of followers.
I need feminism because Elliot Rodger is, to my horror, viewed by some “Red Pill” anti-women activists as a “hero.” Rodger wrote a disturbing manifesto before going on a shooting rampage, killing six people and wounding 14 others.
I need feminism because with the internet, it’s easier for men to harrass me online.
I need feminism because I’m not a bitch for having a voice.
We live in country where we value “freedom,” yet it doesn’t exist for everyone. Feminism has evolved and been beneficial for women’s rights, but we’re not done. In my lifetime, I hope to see even more changes towards equality. The fight isn’t over. We can’t be afraid to stand up, speak out, and fight back against the ones dragging us down.