In 2014, I was baffled that “feminist” became a term some women were afraid to label themselves. Apparently being in favor of equal rights among both men and women means women hate men? That is sure news to me.
To the women who believe this is what feminism means, let me give it to you straight: you are horribly mistaken. While I’m sure there are some man-haters out there, that is not what feminism is about. That isn’t what it means to be a feminist.
It’s frustrating when women are terrified to show strength and pride in being women and that they back down into those meek stereotypes of what women should be. Come on, ladies! You don’t need to apologize for being born a woman.
In honor of the new year and the hope that 2015 is a year in which women can win some battles, here is a list of my 15 reasons why it rocks to be a woman right now.
1. Voting. BOOM.
Think about it. America declared its independence in 1776. According to my calculations, women couldn’t vote for 144 years. We finally were given the freedom to freaking vote in 1920. We have had this privilege for a measly 95 years.
2. The freedom to protest places like Hobby Lobby.
Religious freedom? Yes, that’s beautiful. A corporation being treated like a human being and dictating the limited contraception and health services it will pay for its female employees? Appalling. Damn right let’s protest.
3. Don’t want to have a baby? You don’t have to! Go on with yo bad self.
4. You want to have five kids? More power to ya!
5. Don’t want to get married? Don’t do it! You don’t need no man.
6. Leggings and yoga pants. I swear, I will do just about anything to avoid wearing something that doesn’t feel like pajamas. This also goes along with the fact that we don’t have to wear dresses or skirts.
7. Female police officers, doctors, lawyers, and firemen, oh my!
8. Women can go to college to earn a degree, not find a husband.
9. We can open our own bank accounts without the consent of someone with a penis. Women couldn’t have their own bank accounts until 1974, only 41 years ago.
10. According to the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978, women cannot be fired for getting pregnant. But only 37 years ago, you could have said “bye bye” to your job if you let slip that you were pregnant.
11. The feminism movement has given women a voice in 2015.
12. Feminist activists like Gloria Steinem fighting an uphill (and ongoing) battle for women.
13. Authors such as Jessica Valenti and Laura Carroll who educate audiences about women who don’t want children, proving that women aren’t worthless if they don’t procreate. In 2015 I anticipate women continuing to fight for body autonomy. We are more than our body parts. We have BRAINS.
14. Twitter has provided us with many opportunities to speak up for equal rights. Hashtags like #YesAllWomen brought awareness to people in denial that sexism and misogyny is alive and well in America.
15. To the growing list of celebrities who are loud and proud to be feminists, you rock.
This year, if you’re on the fence about defining yourself as a feminist, do your research first. Read. Learn. Educate yourself about what feminism means in America today. Learn what feminists are and what they are not. Don’t be afraid to be a woman in this country. Don’t apologize or back into a corner. Stand up and be proud of WHO you are. Don’t let America define you by WHAT you are.